The Ministry of Health has responded to the Auditor General’s latest report on the government’s COVID-19 expenditure indicating it is working with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) protocol to review the vaccine procurement contract.
In the report, the Auditor General noted that the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government of Ghana paid an amount of $120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/AVAT for the supply of vaccines.
“However, 5,109,600.00 doses of vaccines valued at $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.
The Auditor General thus recommended to the Chief Director of the Health Ministry to renegotiate and recover the outstanding balance immediately to ensure the amount is recovered to the state.
The Ministry of Health in a statement acknowledged the delay in receiving the vaccines and explained that the government was yet to take hold of the products because of unexpected hesitancy, cold chain storage challenges, spontaneous donations, as well as manufacturer’s storage difficulties.
“Due to the unexpected hesitancy, cold chain storage challenges, spontaneous donations, as well as manufacturer’s storage difficulties, the Ministry in June 2022, was compelled to agree on a delivery schedule for the remaining 11,052 million doses to be delivered from June to December 2022.
According to the schedule, 1.6 million doses were to be delivered from June to December 2022 to complete the allocation. However, this process was delayed because of the aforementioned challenges.”
The Ministry in the statement it has requested and has received the June allocation which was delivered in January 2023.
In the meantime, the Ministry reiterated its commitment to work in the supreme interest of the public.”
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri