Accra, Ghana – United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana Acting Mission Director Janean Davis announced $24.7 million in new funding to Ghana today to support vaccination efforts nationwide as part of the Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX). The funding, provided through USAID will accelerate the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations in every part of Ghana. Director General of the Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye and other Ghana Health Service officials joined USAID Ghana Acting Mission Director Janean Davis at the Greater Accra Regional (Ridge) Hospital to make the announcement. The group toured the hospital’s maternity ward, emphasizing the need for expecting mothers to get vaccinated as well.
“The bottom line is that vaccines are safe, effective, and readily available in Ghana. We realize, however, that the donation of vaccines is not enough. That’s why, today, I am excited to announce on behalf of the U.S. government, an additional $24.7 million dollars to Ghana to accelerate the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations as part of Global VAX,” said Acting USAID Ghana Mission Director Janean Davis.
Acting Mission Director Janean Davis also announced the recent arrival of nearly two million more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, which arrived in Ghana the week of March 21. Since September 2021, the United States has donated more than 9.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ghana, representing more than 30 percent of all vaccines available in Ghana. Worldwide, the United States has donated more than 500 million vaccine doses, including 144 million doses to 43 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Global VAX is a U.S. Government effort to contribute to the global goal to vaccinate 70% of the population of every country against COVID-19 in 2022. It is a whole-of-government approach that builds on the extraordinary commitment President Biden has made to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022 and intensifies efforts to get shots in arms.
Global VAX encompasses the U.S. Government’s work with more than 100 countries in every region of the world to increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. It will also incorporate an intensive surge of financial, technical, and diplomatic engagement in an initial group of countries with both significant need and potential for rapid progress, with an initial focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
Remarks by USAID Ghana Acting Mission Director Janean Davis
Global Vaccine Initiative (GVAX) Launch
Accra Regional (Ridge) Hospital
April 4, 2022
On behalf of U.S. Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan, it’s an honor to join you at today’s vaccine clinic that has a special focus on you – pregnant women. Thank you to all the women gathered here today – recent mothers and mothers-to-be. I commend you for making the choice to save lives today – to protect yourself, the babies developing within you, and the babies you are breastfeeding. Thank you to all of the partners who are here to support their families.
Today, as the Director General said, we want to make the message loud and clear – vaccines are safe and effective. They are approved in Ghana for everyone 15 years of age and older, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Vaccines save lives – they protect you, and your community, and your family, and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus globally.
I want to acknowledge that we’ve come a long way in just two years. My grandma used to sign “We’ve come a mighty long way.” From knowing very little to approving multiple, highly-effective, and lifesaving vaccines. Scientists around the world collaborated to analyze, research, and produce these vaccines in record time.
In March 2021, Ghana was the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX. This was a testament to Ghana’s preparedness to deliver and commitment to protecting her population. Since then as the Director General mentioned, Ghana has administered over 13 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The United States has donated 9.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ghana – including nearly 2 million that arrived just last week. And we aren’t done yet: 2.5 million doses are on the way. The United States has already donated 500 million doses worldwide, as part of U.S. President Biden’s commitment to delivery 1.2 billion doses around the world.
The bottom line is that vaccines are safe, effective, and readily available in Ghana. But we realize, however, that the donation of vaccines is not enough to get the job done.
Ghana has an established track record that it can, and will, deliver.
That is why, today, on behalf of the U.S. Ambassador, I am excited to announce on behalf of the U.S. government, an additional $24.7 million dollars to Ghana to accelerate the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations. This is part of the United States’ Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX).
In Ghana, the Global VAX will focus on four areas:
(1) we will support vaccinators for the rapid deployment of vaccines;
(2) we will support public information and demand generation activities. We want everyone to know when and where to get vaccines. We also want to address misinformation regarding vaccinations;
(3) we will support COVID-19 data systems to enhance data-informed decision making; and finally,
(4) we will support Ghana’s supply chain to ensure continued availability of the COVID-19 vaccine across Ghana in every community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that no one is safe until we are all safe. Getting the vaccine protects you, your loved ones, and your community. It is not only a personal duty, it is also a shared commitment.
We count on the vaccinators that are here, to carry your vaccine boxes over difficult terrain, on boats, motorcycles, camping out in hard-to-reach communities to ensure no one is left behind. We count on the health promotion officers who cover the length and breadth of communities, knocking on every door to ensure people have the right information to make the right decision. You tackle myths to raise awareness that the vaccine is here, and it is safe.
We count on the supply chain staff and data managers, to ensure that every vial reaches its destination safely.
Thank you to all of you – you are making a difference. You are saving lives, helping stop the threat of new variants, and giving people a chance to live their lives.
Before ending, I would like to share the words of Fati Osman, from Ayawaso North District. Fati said to us: “I took my first dose of the COVID vaccine when I was pregnant and did not experience any side effects. After delivery I went for the second dose to get fully vaccinated. I can tell you my first child is very fine and I am too.” COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is recommended to prevent severe illness and death in pregnant women, and to support the health of their babies. The women gathered here today are a testament to this.
I am reminded of the Adinkra symbol “NKONSONKONSON” [en-con-son-con-son] meaning “chain link.” It is a symbol of unity, a reminder that “in unity lies strength” and we are all tied together in inextricable ways. We’re all in this together.
I’m proud to add my voice to Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign. “Protect yourself, protect your family. Get vaccinated against COVID-19 Now!”