ACCRA– The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will conduct a measles-rubella vaccination campaign across the country later this month to eliminate the fatal childhood diseases.

The six-day exercise beginning Oct 17, which will target children from nine months to five years, is to ensure that those who have never been vaccinated against the viral diseases will be covered, while the vaccinated ones will receive a booster, says Dr John B. K. Yabani, the acting Deputy Director of Public Health for the Greater Accra Region (Province).

Disclosing this at a regional stakeholders’ meeting here last week, he appealed to regional ministers, district and metropolitan chief executives to help in educating and mobilizing parents to take their children for the vaccination exercise.

He said oral Vitamin A supplements, which help to maintain healthy vision and ensure the normal function of the immune system, among other benefits, would be administered alongside the injectable vaccines.

Dr Yabani explained that for Ghana to eliminate measles and rubella, at least 95 per cent of children must be vaccinated. However, about 100,000 children, he said, were missed annually during the routine vaccination, which is administered at nine months after birth and repeated as a booster when they reached 18 months.

He attributed the situation to some parents rejecting the vaccination because of religious or cultural reasons, ignorance and geographical barriers to health teams and facilities. The health personnel and volunteers to be involved in the impending campaign would operate from both fixed and mobile points, visiting schools, markets and hard to reach places, he added.