Ghana's first lady Dr Lordina Mahama is using Mothers' Day to urge mothers through Africa to ensure they vaccinate their children.
In a statement released for Mothers' Day, Dr Mahama used the occasion to encourage mothers to participate in the Annual Vaccination Week by ensuring that infants and children receive the requisite free vaccination.
“We need to collectively prioritise immunisation as a key intervention to reduce child mortality. As President of the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV & AIDS (OAFLA), and together with my colleague First Ladies, we have joined hands to strive to achieve our common vision of 'making Africa a continent free from HIV and AIDS, Maternal and Child Mortality, and a place where women and girls are empowered to enjoy equal rights and opportunities',” she wrote.
On Thursday, the Sixth African Vaccination and Child Health Promotion Week was launched in Accra, the week comes on the theme: “Good Life, Start Right; Close the Immunization Gap” with the slogan “Stay Polio Free”, and runs from May 9 until May 13.
In a speech at the launch, Dr Mahama said "Worldwide, 1.5 million children under five still lose their lives annually to diseases that could be prevented by vaccines; this is unacceptable...we need, collectively, to prioritise immunisation as a key intervention to reduce child mortality.”
The annual event aims at strengthening immunisation programmes in the Africa Region by increasing public awareness on the importance of every person’s right to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
In her Mothers' Day statement, she also wrote about President Mahama's campaign to end child marriage.
“As a mother, the practice of child marriage breaks my heart and so must it be to all Mothers. It also negatively affects the future of thousands of young girls across Ghana and beyond. I urge all Mothers to support the ‘End Child Marriage’ Campaign and join forces with Governments to end child marriage. Keep your children in school and allow them to climb the educational ladder rather than marrying them off.”