TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Bill Gates tours Ghana to view immunization system

Philanthropist Bill Gates arrived in Ghana on Monday to examine the successes made and challenges faced by the immunization system in Ghana.

Gates said strong immunization systems are crucial to protect the developing world against polio and other diseases. Gates targeted Ghana as an immunization success story since no child has died there from measles since 2002. In April, the country launched two new vaccines against rotavirus, Ghana Business News reports.

"(I'm in Ghana to) see firsthand why the country's immunization system is working so well," Gates said, according to Ghana Business News. "I am really interested in understanding how they've done so much of this right."

Gates said Ghana gathers large amounts of data and analyzes it successfully. The country also holds district officials accountable for vaccination success and engages in community outreach programs.

"Just as importantly, the vaccination program is fully integrated into the health system," Gates said, according to Ghana Business News. "But there's really no substitute for seeing it on the ground."

Gates plans to visit the manager of the national immunization program, a director of health services in central Ghana, as well as well-trained community health nurses and their local clients, Ghana Business News reports.

"(I plan to share) my experience in Ghana at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi April 24-25, where global health leaders will celebrate progress in immunization and demonstrate how the world is united to give all children a healthy start to life," Gates said, according to Ghana Business News.