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Ghana: Government needs to answer for its handling of Coronavirus

By The Africa Report
Posted on Friday, 2 July 2021 17:51, updated on Thursday, 15 July 2021 12:18

Ghana launches COVID-19 vaccination campaign
A health worker receives the coronavirus disease vaccine during the vaccination campaign at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

President Nana Akufo-Addo's administration is under pressure by the opposition, as well as civic activists, to respond to confusion surrounding its (particularly financial) handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are two main points of concern: the procurement of vaccines and the price of testing.

The Ghanaian Ministry of Health reportedly agreed to buy 300,000 vails of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at $19 each from Sheik Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum (a member of the UAE’s ruling family). Buying these vaccines directly from the Russian government would have been at a much lower cost of $10 each.

“The Ministry in Accra issued a detailed rebuttal claiming it had exhausted all efforts to engage with the Russian government, and had no option but to pursue the Dubai route,” reports Africa Confidential.

Furthermore, Ghana charges $150 for a rapid Covid-19 test to all foreigners entering its borders. Ghanaians and ECOWAS nationals now pay $50 instead following backlash last year at the initial cost.

The opposition National Democratic Congress is opening up questions in parliament as to why the country has one of the highest prices in the world for testing for the coronavirus (especially as the testing kit only costs $10). To add fuel to the fire, local businesses, which have already endured a hard financial year, are not happy that the testing contract was not given to a Ghanaian company. Especially since the country has “several highly efficient medical services companies which could run the project” reports Africa Confidential. 

Bottom line

The Ghanaian government needs to be accountable, and take responsibility by providing explanations for the financial decisions it made during the pandemic.

The full version of this article can be found on Africa Confidential.

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