A call to probe Ghana’s Covid-19 expenditure has been welcomed by the Minister of Health Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
Ranking Member of the Health Committee in Parliament and also legislator for the Juaboso constituency Kwabena Mintah Akandoh made this call as Parliament was debating on the 2022 budget statement on Wednesday, November 24 2021.
Before making the calls for investigation into the covid-19 expenditure, he called out the government for not being able to meet the inoculation target and expressed dissatisfaction about the fact that only 2.5 million people had been vaccinated so far as against the targeted 17 million for the same period.
Initially, President Akufo-Addo had projected that Ghana would be able to inoculate twenty million people at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, September 22 2021.
“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries. We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognized, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate twenty million of our people by the end of the year,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Ghana agrees with the call of the Rome Declaration of Global Health for voluntary licensing and technology transfers to boost vaccine production. The Africa Union is working with WHO, WTO and other global partners to expand its vaccine manufacturing and deployment.”
But contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday, November 24, Mr Akandoh who is also the Minority spokesperson on Health, said “Mr Speaker, it is a fact that as a country we have failed to vaccinate our people on time to meet the herd immunity. Mr Speaker, I say so because the government presented to us a vaccination plan and this document is titled Covid-19 vaccination deployment and vaccination plan”.
He referred to page 29 of the document stating that we were supposed to have vaccinated about a 1.5million people between April and June 2021. Again, from June to August we were supposed to have vaccinated about 6.3million. Between September to October we should have vaccinated about 9.5 million people. At this time we should have vaccinated not less than 17 million people.
“Ironically, if you refer to the 2022 budget we have vaccinated only 2.5 million. Per their own marking scheme, 2.5 divided 17 is an obvious fail.”
Mr Agyeman Manu who is also legislator for Dormaa Central in responding to the comments said “Our debt situation is not anything that anybody can write home about but let us look at how some of these monies have been spent.
“Honourable Akandoh is asking for complete investigations into Covid expenditures. Because they are materials and that add up to our debt, we will get investigations into that area.
” When I was rushing to get the vaccines to do vaccination very quickly to meet our Covid target, I was called culpable of not having come to Parliament and I have been lambasted to the extent that now, I don’t have any image in this country, [by] your own colleagues in the chambers. Now you stand up and tell me that our vaccinations have been very slow.”