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COVID-19: No fishy deal in vaccine purchase, GHS tells Auditor General

A shipment of Covid vaccines from Covax lands in Sudan earlier in Octobe

A shipment of Covid vaccines from Covax lands in Sudan earlier in Octobe

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has challenged the Auditor General’s report that US$80 million worth of vaccines paid for by the government has not yet been delivered.

According to the Auditor General, the government paid over US$120 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), but only US$38 million worth of the product was delivered.

The state agency has made a recommendation to the Ministry of Health to renegotiate and recover the outstanding balance.

However, appearing on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (23 January), the director-general of the GHS Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said the vaccines have been duly purchased, but they will be delivered when the service needs them due to lack of storage facilities.

“You don’t need all [vaccines] because we don’t have enough cold storage for the entire delivery from the supplier, so that is the situation,” Kuma-Aboagye explained to the host Kwaku Nhyira-Addo.

“For expiry, we don’t want to keep it, so as and when you need it, they deliver,” he said. “I must say on 18 January, another one million have been delivered from Johnson and Johnson.”

Watch the full interview in the attached video clip below:

The AG’s report

“We noted that the Ministry of Health on behalf of the government of Ghana paid an amount of US$120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/AVAT for the supply of vaccines.

“However, 5,109,600.00 doses of vaccines valued at US$38,322,000.00 were supplied to the National Cold Room leaving a difference of US$81,870,379.00 with UNICEF/AVAT,” the report said.

“We recommend that the chief director of the Ministry of Health should renegotiate with UNICEF/AVAT to recover the outstanding amount,” it added.

Meanwhile, the report also stated that over US$2.5 billion (GHC21 billion) of monies mobilised for the fight against COVID-19, only 25% was used on health.

The Auditor General added that the balance was spent on government programmes such as Free SHS and LEAP, among others.

Fred Dzakpata

 

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