Chairperson of the Ghana Cancer Board has expressed reservation over what she describes as exorbitant customs and handling charges on free drugs.

Speaking at a short ceremony at Peace and Love Hospital in Kumasi to hand over medications to a number of health facilities, Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai says her outfit is forced to reject donations of expensive drugs due to high port charges in Ghana.

“Customs duties and handling charges are too expensive and we can’t pay,” she lamented.

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe cancer drugs

According to her, the medications are meant for poor patients, especially, in deprived communities where they have to buy drugs at high costs to stay alive.

Despite the frustration, drugs for non-communicable diseases have been distributed to some hospitals in the country.

They include anti-diabetics, pain killers, anti-hypertensive, ant-biotics and drugs for allergies.

Bunkpurugu and Mamponteng Hospitals among others are among beneficiary institutions.

Peace and Love Hospital and Breast Care International periodically solicit for donations of high-quality drugs from abroad for distribution to hospitals and clinics.

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe cancer drugs

In September 2019, 7,680 bottles of essential psychiatric drugs were donated to five regions in the north.

Psychiatric units of hospitals in the regions were in dire need of medication to improve the care of psychiatric patients.

The shortage of drugs for the government’s free psychiatric medicine scheme was blamed for the situation, which accounted for relapse and worsening conditions of patients.

Dr Wiafe wants government to take a second look at the matter and address it to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

She added that if government’s intervention could accelerate the supply of free drugs to hospitals to better the lives of patients with various ailments.