Expedite Processes To Clear Health Commodities – CSOs Tell Govt

Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin (M) flanked by some members of the Coalition


The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in HIV, TB and Malaria has appealed to the government to expedite the clearing of various donated health commodities from the Tema Port.

Speaking at a press conference, lead convener and President of the Ghana HIV Network, Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin, said the health commodities worth over $40 million have been wasting away since May 2023.

He said the commodities comprise Anti Retrovirals (ARV) for the treatment of HIV, medication for the treatment of TB, Artemisinin-Based Combination Therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of Malaria, Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) Kits, Gene Xpert cartridges among others.

He said, “The situation has currently created stockouts in health facilities across the country, leading to needless loss of lives and frustration for health workers. Out of 435 containers, about 166 of them have been cleared with 266 yet to be cleared.”

According to him, between May and August, 2023, Global Fund as part of its commitment shipped HIV, TB, and Malaria commodities worth over $40 million into the country.

He said in line with global practice, the Global Fund made available US$400,000 being 1% of the value of the commodities to cover procurement and supply management costs, however the government is yet to pay for the clearance.

GRA’s Assurance

Mr. Otsin stated that after several engagements with state agencies, the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has assured them of the government’s commitment to clear the commodities within the shortest possible time.

He said the Commissioner-General promised to clear some of the commodities this week and the rest in 14 days.

He also hinted of plans by the network to embark on demonstrations across the country on Wednesday, April 17, if the government fails to act.

By Ebenezer K. Amponsah

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