Immunisation programme to receive domestic funding by 2030
The country is expected to fund fully its national immunisation programme with domestic funds by the close of 2030.
This has been necessitated by the country’s attainment of a middle-income status and the subsequent drying up of funds from the development partners (DPs).
The Global Vaccine Alliance, GAVI, has been supporting the country’s immunisation programme with 80 per cent of the cost and delivery of vaccines and has contributed immensely to the strengthening of health systems over the years.
As part of the processes towards ownership of the funding, the government last Friday engaged DPs within and out of the health sector in a high-level meeting on how to sustainably finance immunisation in the country after it is weaned off GAVI support in 2030.
The meeting brought together representatives from several international missions, including the World Health Organisation, legislators, health professionals, representatives of vaccine manufacturing firms, academicians, financial forecasters and experts in resource mobilisation and financing.
It is to enhance the country’s efforts and paths towards a sustainable vaccine self-financing as it transitions out of GAVI support.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, in a speech read on his behalf, said the country was currently in a transition period towards a sustainable domestic financing for immunisation.
He said GAVI supported approximately 80 per cent of the cost of vaccines and their delivery, including health systems strengthening over the years.
That, Mr Agyeman-Manu said, had helped the country to implement commendable high-quality preventive and reactive vaccination campaigns in response to public health emergencies.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said that was the country’s reality and certainly called for high-level discussions within and outside the health sector towards establishing functional systems for coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation to finalise interventions on the country’s ability to withstand that independence, and consolidate the gains without compromising quality and pride.
He said the reflections stakeholders needed to have at the high-level meeting and beyond ought to be premised on strong political, legislative and more especially, fiscal commitments to health outcomes that could support viable sustainable options for effective implementation.
“The 2022 health expenditure review showed that there has been a maldistribution of public spending on health.
Eighty per cent of such funds is being channelled through the Ministry of Health budget and only 12 per cent through the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the Ministry of Health for leading the high-level meeting and described it as timely and critical to building partnerships for a sustainable self-financing pathway for immunisation.
He said the ministry had recognised the required high expenditure on immunisation to sustain or improve on gains made so far.
Highlighting some of the implications of the transition of GAVI support, the Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiono, said the country was likely to buy vaccines at a higher cost and might have low and untimely access to vaccines and logistics as compared to when they were delivered by GAVI.
He said that was because GAVI would no longer be financing and negotiating for vaccine prices for the country.