MoH clears 14 out of 182 containers of drugs stuck at Tema Port

Source The Ghana Report

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has cleared 14 out of 182 containers at the Tema Port containing vital medications for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV), Tuberculosis (TB), and malaria donated by the Global Fund (GF).

It will be recalled that the Ghana AIDS Commission and a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) focusing on HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria earlier, persistently called on the government to clear the essential commodities at the port.

The medical commodities, including antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients, were stuck at the Tema port for almost a year due to the government’s inability to settle third-party fees.

This issue came to the limelight when a board member of the Global Fund in March 2024 revealed in an interview that a bulk of the drugs had been confined at the Tema Port since October 2023, awaiting clearance from the government.

The Chief Director of the MoH, Alhaji Hafiz Adam addressing the media at the Port during the clearance process said approximately 168 more containers are to be cleared. These containers, which will cost around GHC17 million to clear, contain non-medicine commodities such as bed nets and Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs).

“Today, 14 containers of health commodities comprising 10 containers of malaria RDT containers, one container of malaria injection, and three containers of malaria medicine will be delivered to a warehouse” he added.

Alhaji Hafiz Adam also assured that the Health Ministry, and its agencies, including the public would continue to support the Ministry in fulfilling its mandate of providing quality healthcare access to Ghanaians.

Initially, the Ministry of Health in a statement dated April 9, 2024, assured its stakeholders and the public that significant progress had been made in clearing the remaining 182 out of 435 containers at the Tema Port, holding antiretrovirals, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria medicines by today Friday, 12th April 2024.

“We wish to re-assure our stakeholders and the general public that the challenges associated with the clearing of MoH medicines and other commodities from the Tema Port and other points of entry have been conclusively and completely resolved by the Government,” the MoH added in a release issued on Tuesday, April 9.

The MoH explained in the statement that as part of the Global Fund’s ongoing support to the Government of Ghana, it received 435 containers at the Tema Port between August 2023 and February 2024 containing anti-HIV, TB, and malaria medicines and mosquito nets for distribution across the country.

Out of the 435 containers, the MoH said it successfully and swiftly cleared 253 from the Port with the support of the government, leaving 182 containers.

The MoH reaffirmed its commitment, along with the MoF, GRA, and other stakeholders, to consistently and meaningfully engage in ensuring that the health needs of all people living in the country are their collective priority.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has urged the public to disregard reports suggesting that the Global Fund has suspended shipments of drugs to Ghana.

The Global Fund is an international financing and partnership organization that aims to attract, leverage, and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria to support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations.

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