President Akufo-Addo with guests in a photograph after the opening session of the 2021 NewYear School at the University of Ghana, Legon.
The government is on the verge of procuring vaccines to help control and possibly bring to an end the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It follows a recent surge in the number of infections across the country.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the Annual New Year School at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra, yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said that “the recent upsurge in the cases of COVID-19 infections, tells us that the virus is very much with us.”
He said “the committee formed by government to recommend the appropriate decision on COVID-19 vaccines has completed its work, enabling government to begin discussions with vaccine manufacturing companies with a goal of ordering suitable doses of the vaccine for use in Ghana.”
Details of that, he said “will be announced very soon.”
That, he however cautioned, “We cannot afford to abandon the enhanced hygiene and safety protocols that ensure that we are faring much better than many other countries including some well-advanced and developed countries.”
He said “if we do not adhere to these protocols, all the work that is being undertaken to build Ghana in the face of the global health crisis will fail.”
The pandemic, according to the President, has illustrated vividly the need for self-reliance in all areas of social and economic life, to which end he said “is key that we also break the cycle of dependence on foreigners in the fields of science and medicine as well.”
He was of the firm conviction that “it is not beyond our scientist and pharmaceutical companies whose knowledge and expertise cannot be questioned to produce an indigenous Ghanaian vaccine to combat the virus;” insisting “they must be up and doing.”
That notwithstanding, he indicated that “we have already put in place measures to protect the most vulnerable in society from economic effects from the virus and will continue to act proactively to protect the citizenry from the ravages of the pandemic.”
“We are determined to see us through this crisis and all the challenges that it has brought in its wake,” he emphasized.
He therefore considered the theme for this year’s Annual New Year School, ‘Building Ghana in the face of global health crisis’, essential to raise, discuss and deliberate, and to find answers to important questions related not only to the COVID-19 pandemic but also to other health and social crisis.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu