Country Coordinating Mechanism, Ghana to demonstrate against locked-up containers

Medical Medicine

Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), Ghana of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has made their intention known to exercise their Civic rights as citizens to stage a public demonstration on June 25, this year.

This is to register their displeasure about the 120 containers of locked medical commodities donated by the Global Fund to the government.

This was contained in an open letter dated 11th June 2024 to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The letter, which was sighted by the Ghana News Agency was signed by Mr. Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin, Acting Chair of CCM Ghana.

Mr Ortsin stated that, ‘the commodities valued at about 45 million dollars are wasting at the port for more than 12 months include compromise medications for the treatment of tuberculosis, artemisinin-based combination therapy for the treatment of malaria, insecticide treated mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic test kits GeneXpert cartridges.

He continued that on April 8, 2024, six CSOs, whose area of operation focused
on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria organised a press conference to bring to the attention of the public the ugly situation of the locked-up containers.

Mr Ortsin said after the press conference, the government responded, and the Ministry of Health hurriedly organised a press event to take delivery of 14 containers out of the 182.

He noted that at the event a promise was made that the rest of the containers would be released in two weeks.

‘Some skeptics described the removal of the 14 containers as a sham that is meant to throw dust into the eyes of the public, describing it as a public gimmick,’ he stated.

He said that CSO Networks placed a moratorium on all public demonstrations and gave the government the opportunity to redeem itself but only an additional 48 containers had been released.

‘All the rest 120 containers are still gathering moss under the scorching sun, torrential rains and corrosive winds at the ports while our health facilities have run out of stock of these same commodities,’ he

Mr Ortsin stated that to describe the situation as bizarre would be an understatement as the international community were asking whether it was a case of corruption, incompetence or sheer wickedness and did not understand how a sovereign state could not clear donated health commodities from its ports.

He mentioned that on May 29, 2024, some senior officials from Global Fund held a meeting with the Ghana delegation to the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva and reprimanded Ghana for its conduct in respect of the locked-up commodities.

Mr Ortsin therefore publicly appealed to the President of the Republic in view of the exigencies to intervene and support the Ministry of Health to work out a lasting solution to the intractable impasse.

He said the inspiration behind the Global Fund ‘was our own the late Kofi Annan whose tenure of office, the United Nations pushed for its establishment.

Mr. Ortsin reminded the President that Ghana was the first country to sign a grant with the Fund and to date was ab
le to receive 1.3 billion dollars from it adding ‘the Fund currently has a 248-million-dollar grant agreement with the country to support it fight the three diseases.’

He continued that they were not enthused by the government’s handling of the matter, adding that the country should not have sunken so low to become the butt of international jokes and gossip.

Mr. Ortsin concluded that when ‘we hit the streets, we shall formally present to you a petition that contains a litany of issues currently marring our relations with the Global Fund and other donors.’

Source: Ghana News Agency