"[S]tarting this week, Ghana will vaccinate the first babies in a new campaign against rotavirus -- a cause of severe diarrhea -- and pneumococcal disease, which causes pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis," Reuters reports. The GAVI Alliance is supporting Ghana's Expanded Programme on Immunisation in launching the campaign, the news service notes, adding, "While the immediate benefits of vaccinating children against these killers are clear in terms of saving lives and reducing disease, Ghana is also looking at long-term pay-back."
According to Reuters, "Evidence suggests the value of vaccines goes beyond just health benefits. Healthier children are far more likely to attend school regularly, ... learn more effectively, ... [and are] more likely to be economically productive." Orin Levine, director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, "Ghana's best resource for the future is its people. So having them healthier, better educated and more productive, is the surest way for Ghana to develop and make itself more successful," Reuters reports (4/26).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.