Ghanaian News

$45m pharmaceutical products locked up at port

Health commodities worth $45 million and purchased with Global Fund allocations to the country have been stuck at the port since August 2023 due to the importers’ inability to pay the import duties.

This comes even as the country has run out of some of those commodities which include malaria Rapid Diagnostic Testkits (RDTs), Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs), Antiretrovirals (ARVs) and others.

The amount involved is part of the $234 million the Global Fund allocated to the country to enhance the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria from 2023 to 2025.

The revelation, contained in a statement issued by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) in Accra last Tuesday and signed by its President, Dr Samuel Kow Donkoh, said the delay in clearance was because the Global Fund, as part of its policy, did not finance taxes and levies (at the ports).

“The PSGH understands that there is currently a complete stock-out of malaria RDTs.

While some health facilities do not have stocks of ARVs, there will be a complete stock-out of ARVs in the country by May 2024,” the statement said.

“The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana is deeply troubled by some critical issues bordering on Ghana’s access to health commodities from the Global Fund that can have serious consequences for the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“This deadlock, therefore, imperils the health and well-being of numerous Ghanaians grappling with the debilitating conditions of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.

Ghana recently commemorated 20 years of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) usage, celebrating significant strides in combating HIV and enhancing patient outcomes,” the statement said.

Dr Donkor said the PSGH implored the government to take immediate and decisive measures to expedite the clearance of those life-saving drugs.

He further alleged that the Ministry of Health (MoH) was to refund an ineligible expense of $844,046 to the Global Fund or risk losing $1.6 million, which would be deducted from the current grant cycle (GC7) to the country.

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