Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said government's request for the local production of mass personal protective equipment (PPEs) to aid the fight against COVID-19 demonstrates government’s commitment towards promoting local industries.
Tens of thousands of government-ordered PPEs such as face masks, medical scrubs and medical gowns are being produced locally by some garment manufacturing companies.
The Vice President on Friday toured three of the companies producing the PPEs namely: Dignity DTRT, Sleek Garments and Cadling Fashion.
Speaking during the tour, Dr. Bawumia, who was accompanied by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said that government is committed to supporting the growth of local industries hence its decision to order the local production of PPEs to support growing demands for them following the Coronavirus crisis.
"As you know, we are dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and one of the challenges we have in this country and across all countries has been how to protect our front line health workers. There is a global demand, whether you are talking about the UK or the US, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPEs.
"We have been looking at how to get these PPEs to our health workers because we don’t want them, in the process of saving our lives, to also lose their lives so we were looking at how to do it. You know, we have a real champion of Ghanaian industries in the person of the Minister for Trade and Industry. He said that we should look at producing these PPEs in the country. We discussed it at Cabinet and it was adopted very quickly."
Dr. Bawumia, who was impressed by the efficiency of the companies in their production, assured that government will continue to support them to produce health equipment post-COVID-19.
"Government is fully committed (to local industries) not just in this short term but long term. So you can expect more orders," said the Vice President.
"Once production capacity gets to where it should be, then we will not have any need to import these items going forward."
"This will be part of the post-COVID-19 architecture and we will be having these sort of things produced in Ghana rather than import, and this is what the President was talking about; take these opportunities to grow Ghanaian industries, create jobs in Ghana, create income and I think that is what you are doing here."
The Vice President also commended workers at the factories for their skill and commitment
“Today we are seeing what Ghanaian ingenuity and industry are all about," Dr Bawumia said.
"We can see these hard-working women and men who are working so efficiently. I am very privileged to come and see the actual activity taking place."