HFFG, CSOs advocate for increase in domestic financing for immunization

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HFFG, CSOs advocate for increase in domestic financing for immunization


A group of NGOs has called on the Government of Ghana to increase domestic funding on the national health budget, especially for immunization programs.

This call was made at a Civil Society Roundtable discussion held in Accra on Wednesday as part of the Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI), a three-year project which aims to advocate for the government to increase domestic financing for immunization.

Participants at the roundtable discussion unanimously agreed that despite competing for national interests, immunization is a poverty reduction strategy that decreases the magnitude of vaccine-preventable diseases and therefore the need for government to invest greatly in it to sustain the gains made over the years.

HFFG

The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo noted that most of the interventions within the health sector including immunization are sponsored by external donors, putting the lives of many children at risk should donors continue to pullout. She indicated that civil society organizations have a role to play in advocating for the Government of Ghana to commit to funding immunization interventions and also meet its co-financing agreements with international bodies like GAVI, a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunization globally.

In a presentation on immunization financing in Ghana, a Deputy Programme Manager at the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), Mr. Ebow Dadzie,  revealed that Ghana is one of only three countries that failed to meet its co-financing commitments with GAVI in 2018.

HFFG with CSO

He advocated for the strengthened partnerships for immunization coverage and innovative ways of financing health services. For her part, the Programs and Advocacy Manager for the Immunization Advocacy Initiative, Gladys Damalin, revealed that the cost of immunization in Ghana is rising without a corresponding increment in government funding.

“The donor influence in immunization activities in Ghana has been so immense. The gains that the Government of Ghana has made in immunization coverage may not be sustainable if we continue to rely on donors to fund immunization in Ghana,” she said.

She noted that the Immunization Advocacy Initiative aims to ensure that the proportion of the budget allocation to immunization disbursed and spent in each financial year increases year on year by the Government of Ghana.  She disclosed that the objective of the CSO roundtable discussions at the national and regional levels is to introduce to stakeholders the advocacy agenda and their support solicited on domestic financing for immunization.

The Immunization Advocacy Initiative is funded by the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC). It is being implemented by Civil Society Organizations namely: SEND Ghana and a Hope for Future Generation consortium made up of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association, Socio-Serve, and the West African AIDS Foundation. The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health is also a member of the consortium.



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