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Pharmaceutical Society calls for swift clearing of locked-up medicines at port

  Sat, 15 Jun 2024
Health Pharmaceutical Society calls for swift clearing of locked-up medicines at port
SAT, 15 JUN 2024 LISTEN

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has urged the Minister of Health to ensure that the locked-up Global Fund commodities at the port are released on time as promised.

A statement issued by the PSGH and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said: “Despite the fact that previous promises by the MOH to clear the containers did not materialise, the PSGH is willing to accept these renewed assurances by the Ministry and hold the Minister to his two weeks.”

The PSGH noted that the Health Minister on Thursday, assured stakeholders and Ghanaians that all locked-up health commodities would be cleared within two weeks.

Nearly three months ago, the Association expressed deep concern over critical issues affecting Ghana's access to essential health commodities paid up for Ghanaians by the Global Fund.

It said the commodities, though vital for the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria, had been languishing at the port since August 2023 due to delays in clearance caused by unpaid taxes and levies at the port, which the Government of Ghana needed to fix.

The PSGH reminded the MoH that some of the remaining containers had life-saving medications and health commodities, including artesunate injection for severe malaria, Tuberculosis (TB) medicines for both category 1 and category 2 patients, Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs), and GeneXpert cartridges for TB diagnosis, among others.

The Association said further delay in clearing the remaining containers would have severe repercussions, including complete stock-out of malaria RDTs, which hampered the ability to diagnose and treat malaria promptly.

“Fatal consequences for severe malaria cases could rise in children under five years and pregnant women. “We remind the Ministry of the urgent need to address the $844,046 ineligible expense reimbursement to the Global Fund to avoid the potential loss of $1.6 million from the current grant cycle. This financial oversight, if not rectified, will further strain our healthcare system and adversely impact the health of Ghanaians.”

The PSGH expressed its commitment to collaborate with the MoH and other stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions that would ensure uninterrupted access to essential health commodities.

“We advocate robust domestic financing mechanisms to support our HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria programmes and safeguard the health of all Ghanaians,” it stated.

“As pharmacists and healthcare professionals dedicated to the well-being of our patients, we stand with all Ghanaians during this challenging time. We urge swift and decisive action to resolve this crisis and protect the health gains we have worked so hard to achieve.”

GNA

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