Rotary International (RI), a service organisation, has offered to help Ghana towards immunising its population against COVID-19.
Shekhar Meehta, Rotary International’s President, made the offer when he called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House, Accra, on Wednesday.
The RI President, who is on a two-day working visit to Ghana, told President Akufo-Addo that the organisation had been volunteering action in response to the pandemic, supporting COVID-19 vaccination, and prevention efforts across the globe.
He said with Rotary’s decades of experience in bringing polio to the threshold of eradication, it was best placed to help countries across the world to address the issue of vaccine hesitancy among their populations.
Mr Meehta said the members of the RI were ramping up efforts to help communities navigate the vaccine hesitancy by providing education on vaccine efficiency, which he said, was necessary because the fight against the pandemic could only be won if the whole world got vaccinated.
“Currently, Rotary is working on a lot on COVID-19 issues and we are here to offer our help – if there is any way Rotary can help the government here in the vaccination process,” he stated.
Rotary International closely monitors updates and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that the safest and most appropriate actions are taken by and for its members and the communities they serve.
The organisation has since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic been helping health authorities communicate lifesaving information about COVID-19.
It has also been donating protective gear and other supplies to clinics and hospitals that are under strain because of the pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed the gesture by the of RI, noting that the focus being given the COVID-19 by the organization was appropriate for the times.
He said: “This focus that you want to give to vaccinations on COVID-19 is appropriate for the times…. We are one of those who have been waiting for the serum institute to begin to export vaccines here, because we were hoping to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of the year. That would get us close to attaining herd immunity.
“Recently, there has been a shortage of the vaccine worldwide. Some have hoarded it, whilst others don’t have it, and we are trying to find our way out of it.
“That is the drama, which we are living. Increasingly, the supply situation is getting better, but I think that having your voice in it for the equity and even distribution of vaccines around the world would also be a major contribution that you can make.”
President Akufo-Addo described Rotary as an important organisation for Ghana, saying that the exceptional quality of its members in in the country had contributed immensely to the nation’s development.
He lauded the RI’s contribution to the eradication of Polio in Africa, saying, “It is a major achievement of your contribution to that fight. We appreciate it in Ghana.”
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