By Bright Ntramah
Humanitarian Service Organization, Rotary International, says it is ready to assist in Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination programme to ensure President Akufo-Addo’s target of vaccinating 20 million of Ghana’s adult population is achieved.
Rotary International is credited with the successful prosecution of Polio Vaccination and its subsequent eradication across the world except in 2 countries.
The President of Rotary International, Shekhar Meehta made the pledge when he paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
He said the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic can only materialize if the whole world gets vaccinated.
He said based on the experience of Rotary International with Polio vaccinations in the world, Rotary is best placed to help countries to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy among populations.
“At times there is vaccine hesitancy, people do not want to take the vaccine. At times there is supply deficiency, but even if there is enough supply, there is vaccine hesitancy just as it was for Polio also and we see in different parts of the world there is (vaccine hesitancy) for even polio too. People are misled into misinformation, so I hope we can play a very proactive part in creating awareness, explaining etc. Apart from that, we do some major work in education also. In India for example, we are working towards total literacy in India. India’s literacy after 75 years of independence is only 75 percent and we have assured the government that in the next 75 months we will bring it to beyond 95 percent’’, the visiting Rotary International President stated.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed the gesture from Rotary International. He noted that the focus Rotary is giving to COVID-19 and vaccinations is appropriate in times such as this.
“That’s how we see the work that you are doing here in so many areas, in Education and in Health, Social Services like Sanitation and Water. I am highly appreciative, so I think you should know that, we appreciate very much the contributions that Rotary makes in the various areas that you have talked about. We are happy about the Africa Free as far as polio is concerned, it’s a major achievement of yours. Your contribution to that fight, something we also appreciate very much here in Ghana. This focus that you wanted to give to the fight against COVID and on vaccination is appropriate for these times. We are one of those that have been waiting for the Serum Institute to begin to export vaccines, yeah because we were hoping that by now we would have a substantial amount of the vaccines that we need. We want 20 million people in Ghana by the end of this year. The population of the country today is somewhere around 30 million and if we take about a third of that to be young people, 20 million represent the adult population’’, President Akufo Addo explained.