29.10.2020 Article

Dr. Thomas Anabah Writes: Coronavirus Daylight Vampires

By Dr. Thomas Anabah
Dr. Thomas Anabah Writes: Coronavirus Daylight Vampires
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We find it very astonishing and strange that the government of Ghana could not get a team formed from the several competent Ghanaian laboratory technologists to partner with our research institutions like Noguchi or KCCR to carry out the testing for COVID 19 on travellers arriving at KIA, in accordance with government own quest to reduce vertical infection rate instead had to fall on a ‘suspicious Nigerian’ owned company to execute this sensitive project.

Frontier Healthcare Service is said to have been registered in Ghana when the covid 19 pandemic was in full force in Ghana and compelled Ghana to closed its borders to the entire world. Whoever the owners are, we do not really have a problem. But then how come the company decided to invest in ghana in very uncertain moments, especially in a field that scientist did not

have a clear pathway in the management of covid 19. With what experience on COVID 19 was the company cloaked with that gave them a competitive edge over existing Ghanaian companies who were participating in the testing exercise in Ghana?

Currently, Ghana can proudly boast of not less than 5000 laboratory personnel of various categories in public health facilities and of this number, more than 30 of them have PhD in laboratory sciences, a little over 100 with masters, over 3000 with degrees. UDS alone trains and certifies over hundreds of Doctors in Laboratory Scientists each year for the past 3 years. Fortunately, some of these scientists were the ones deployed to help Nuguchi and other research centers to test samples during the ‘peak’ of the pandemic. If for nothing at all, Nuguchi is the first laboratory in Africa to isolated the DNA

sequence of the coronavirus, meaning Ghana government has the men to pick from and conduct the testing at airport and all entry points. However sidelining all these rich human resources and opted for a private and foreign inexperienced company to take charge of testing for coronavirus at this very important entry point of the country, leave much to be desire. It also gives room for speculations. To that extend we demand of government to provide us answers on how frontier healthcare service limited (FHSL) smuggled itself into the shore of Ghana to get registered during the pandemic when our borders were closed?

What experiences have FHSL company gathered on managing covid 19 that existing Ghanaian research institutions and laboratories dotted across the country do not have? Or the contract was not awarded to them meritoriously?

If our president claimed we managed covid 19 better than our peers in the continent then why give the contract to a foreign company and particularly from a country with poor covid 19 management record to do testing at the airport?

We are also told by the Deputy Health Minister, that Nuguchi was and is overwhelmed with work that is why the contract was given to FHSL, so how come the company has again outsourced the contract to the overwhelmed Noguchi? We smell something fishy.

We also heard the Deputy Minister of Health in a radio programme say that, the selection of FHSL to carry out testing of coronavirus at the airport was done by the airport company. Is this a case of blame-shifting? Where

was the health ministry when the process of selection was going on? This is a company that is said to have ‘incompetent’ management and as a result government is giving it out to a foreign firm to manage. How come we allowed this ‘incompetent’ board and management to select a company to carry out a complex exercise like testing for coronavirus?

Is government aware of the embarrassment brought to Ghana from the bloated cost of the testing at the airport and its burden?

There is no explanation to justify it yet.

We will like to join the calls by the Minority in Parliament to government to stop the extortion at the airport all in the name of testing for coronavirus to save the sinking image of Ghana.

Health is a basic right and much more is protection from covid 19. Hence the need

for government to act in a manner that doesn’t resemble anything like profiteering from COVID 19.

We think that Ghana deserves better than this layback approach to critical issues.




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