Mintah Akandoh,
November 25, 2021

Mr. Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member on the Health Committee of parliament wants government to scale up its approach to vaccinating Ghanaians against the deadly coronavirus.

He criticized government for the slow pace of the vaccination process accusing it for waiting for donor supports in order to carry out such an important exercise aimed at protecting the citizenry.

He said government’s actual target is to vaccinate about twenty million people (20, 000,000) Ghanaians out of the thirty million (30, 000 000) population with a specific target of vaccination about 17,000,000 people from April to the end of October, 2021.

He noted that “It is not for nothing that government set for itself that target, because if you are vaccinating to achieve the health immunity, you must do it within a particular space of time; and as things are going it is unfortunate we are not achieving the head-immunity”.

Sadly enough, “by the benevolence of some donors we now have vaccines available….”, and stated that he even picked up information that some of the vaccines are getting expired, and wondered if government was waiting for all the vaccines to get expired and be discarded? “The cheapest thing to do at this point in time for me is for government to expertise action on the deployment and vaccination process.

Mr. Akandoh also chided government and for that matter the health ministry for the low level of education of the masses on the vaccination; indicating that people’s doubts about the vaccines at the initial stages would have to be cleared going forward to enable them avail themselves for the exercise.

According to him, the government in the 2022 budget statement has indicated that the country has received in excess of some 8.4 million doses of the vaccines, saying “it is important for us to know how many doses of the vaccines we have received as donations, it is very important, and we need to know how many dosses of vaccines we have bought as a country with Sputnik V in mind, and the processes leading to the purchase of these vaccines”, he emphasized.

He believes government is only hiding behind COVID-19 and spending huge sums of money. “We have spent in excess of 15 billion Ghana Cedis on COVID-19 as at now, we don’t know where these monies have gone to.” Adding that as at now, some frontline health workers have not been paid their allowances; some contracted the virus in their line of duty, they have not gotten their insurance package. Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, he noted is still facing irregular supply of oxygen.

These and many more developments call for a probe into the entire expenditure of COVID-19 because the core issues of COVID are not been tackled.

He said some of the expenditure patterns as reported do not make sense, stating that “even when COVID was severe, in the 2021 budget, it was reported that we had spent about three hundred and forty-three million on hands sanitizers, nose masks and things like that. In 2021 when COVID is not that severe, they are reporting to us that they have spent about five hundred and ninety-seven million on hand sanitizers, and nose masks.” To him, even if Ghana were supplying the whole world with these things, we wouldn’t have spent that money.

He assured that the Minority has served notice to insist on the details on the expenditure of COVID.

He was worried that the budget was silent on any support to the laboratories like the Nuguchi, and other diseases centres that are supposed to be carrying out research works on the disease, while mass testing has also stopped.