The Board of Trustees of the COVID-19 Trust Fund established in the heat of the pandemic, has wrapped up its work leaving a balance of GH₵7,447,402 to the Consolidated Fund.

The Chairperson of the Trust Fund, Her Ladyship Justice (Rtd) Sophia Akuffo disclosed this to the media.

According to her, the COVID-19 Trust Fund received a total of GH₵65,467,911.91 and disbursed GH₵58,020,508.91 for major projects among others.

“In conclusion, all together, the Trust Fund received contributions in cash and in-kind from over 447 individuals, corporate bodies and other social groups, to whom there can be n words ever be sufficient to convey the depth of our gratitude and I think also, the people of Ghana”.

“As of today, total contributions received by the Fund both in kind and in cash amounts to GH₵65,467,911.71 out of which a total of GH₵58,020,508.91 has been disbursed for the major projects, programmes, activities and interventions listed,” she added.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the former Chief Justice thanked President Akufo-Addo for the immense trust he reposed in them to function under Act 1013x.

She stressed that their audited books will no doubt show that they have executed their duties well.

Giving details, Madam Akuffo indicated that the Trust Fund acquired and distributed personal protective equipment (PPEs) valued at GH₵22,113,760 in 56 hospitals and health centres as well as 226 CHIPS Compounds across the country.

The Trust Fund she said spent an amount of GH₵4,359,854 on public education, awareness raising, and sensitization on the COVID-19 pandemic.

She added that the Trust Fund also spent GH₵3,963,500 to support 7,927 identified poor and vulnerable persons while GH₵4,995,375 was spent on various kinds of research on COVID-19 among other expenditures.

Below is the full list of distribution of cash and PPEs the Trust Fund made to health institutions and vulnerable individuals.

Distribution of PPE
The Trust Fund acquired and distributed PPEs to a cumulative total value of GH¢22,113,760.00, to 56 Regional, municipal and district hospitals; COVID-19 Care Management Centres, Isolation Centres; 8 Testing Centres; and about 226 CHPS compounds across the length and breadth of the country.

Also included is the support given to the School Reopening Committee to procure PPE for distribution to students in tertiary institutions. The testimonies shared by heads and managers of these facilities indicate that the donations made a great difference and brought relief to the staff, students and patients under their care.

Information and Public Education
Toward the effective performance of its statutory functions, and to better inform the public on the nature and cause of the disease, its prevention and management, as well as the importance of adherence to the declared safety protocols, the Trust Fund decided to partner with certain relevant state and non-state organization to encourage uptake when, eventually, vaccines to control the virus were discovered and made available.

They include the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), the National Commission on Culture (NCC), the Risk Communication Department of the Ghana Health Service, InGenious Africa and Ebeye Yie Foundation (an NGO).

In total, an amount of GH¢4,359,854.00 was spent on public education, awareness raising, sensitization, and information dissemination on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support to Testing Centres
Furthermore, the NOGUCHI Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), and the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, were supported with a total amount of (GH¢7,555,082.00) to purchase Reagents through the Ministry of Health to enhance testing of the virus during the heat of the pandemic.

Support to Care Management Centres
The Fund provided various support towards the construction, rehabilitation, and equipping of COVID-19 care management centres, isolation centres, hospitals, and other medical facilities, to the tune of GH¢8,637,280.56.

The beneficiaries include the National Infectious Disease Centre, at Ga East, Pantang Hospital, Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

Social Interventions
As part of its mandate to support those who are affected with or afflicted by the Coronavirus disease, the COVID-19 National Trust Fund received in-kind items including tinned foods, liquid soap, rice, pasta, soft drinks, indomine, biscuits and bottled water among others.

They were distributed to vulnerable groups such as children’s homes, aged groups, children’s hospitals, etc.during the period of the national lockdown.

In addition to these, the Trust Fund engaged the Institute of Statistics Social and Economic Research ISSER, to conduct a national survey on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on households in Ghana, for the purpose of identifying extremely vulnerable households to be provided with funding support.

Eventually, an amount of GH¢500.00 each was paid through the Apex Bank, to 7,927 identified poor and vulnerable persons, across the country affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which totalled GH¢3,963,500.00.

Indeed we had earmarked GH¢5,000,000.00 for this activity (intending to distribute to 10,000 persons), but for various reasons, including, in some districts, the hostility of district authorities to the design of our donation programme, which was intended to afford total inclusiveness within the designated social category, we were unable to meet our target.

Furthermore, a total amount of GH¢210,030.00 was utilized to settle bills, relating to the mandatory quarantine in Sunyani, of a group of 42 Ghanaian deportees from la Côte d’Ivoire, through the Bono Regional Coordinating Council

Medical Research and Innovation
The Trust Fund committed resources to support research and innovation on various aspects of the combat of the pandemic.

Institutions such as the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong Akuapem, and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), were supported with a cumulative amount of GH¢4,995,375.92.

This was to help conduct various kinds of research on the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby contributing to the advance of knowledge and understanding of the coronavirus and ensuring effective combat against the Covid-19 disease.

Other Interventions
A. The Trust Fund received 10 Chevrolet Cobalt saloon cars and donated them to
The under-listed institutions:

  • University of Ghana Medical Centre
  • LEKMA Hospital
  • Kumasi South Regional Hospital
  • Tema General Hospital
  • COVID-19 Care Management Centre, Korle-Bu
  • Zonal Public Health Laboratory, Sekondi
  • Pentecost Convention Isolation Centre, Gomoa-Fetteh
  • Veterinary Division Laboratory, Accra
  • Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research
  • National Public Health & Reference Laboratory, Korle-Bu

B. A variety of PPEs and other relief items (nose masks: children, adult sizes; liquid soap, hand sanitiser, disposable bedsheets, tissue rolls, etc.) donated to persons displaced by extraordinary tidal waves at Keta, Ada, and Kokrobite on 15th December 2021.

C. Distribution of PPE and other relief items (face shields, hand sanitiser, liquid soap, gloves, thermometer guns, nose masks, disposable bedsheets, surgical gowns, tissue rolls) to the following facilities following the tanker explosion disaster at Apiatse in the Western Region:
• Tarkwa Municipal Hospital
• Bogoso Health Centre
• Apinto Hospital
• Inner City Clinic
• Wassa Akropong Government Hospital and displaced Persons Camps managing survivors of the explosion.

Accountability /Internal Control
Towards the assurance of transparency and accountability, the Fund established a system whereby in the case of all distributions or support programmes, a donation agreement was signed with each beneficiary institution, spelling out, inter alia, the expected use (s) of the funds, conditions for disbursement e.g. adherence to PFM Act, Procurement Act, etc.

The Trust Fund developed two policies approved by the Board of Trustees guiding the receipt of donations and disbursement of funds. These are:
a. Disbursement Policy Formula and Procedural Guidelines
b. Donations and Receipts Policy
On procurement Both Parties ensure procurement intended for each project is in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) with Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 914); the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I 2378). The Fund set up systems for ensuring fair competition and transparency in the procurement of items and services acquired with monies from the Fund.

End Operations Activities
As the Trust Fund mandate comes to an end tomorrow an amount of (GH¢27,780.00) has been paid to the Public Records and Archives Administration Department (PRAAD) to keep and manage all the relevant records of the Trust Fund for future referencing by any member of the public who desiring to conduct research about the Trust Fund.

The Fund has also made an additional contribution of an amount of GH¢361,693.45, as a top-up (arising from price escalations) to the initial amount given to Cape Coast Teaching Hospital to assure completion of the rehabilitation of their Isolation Centre.

Additionally, at the cost of GH¢150,600.00, the Trust Fund contracted the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) to conduct a study on the governance structure, sources of funding, and legal regime of a possible future institution to function on a broader basis as a conduit for receiving and managing resources to support the management or combat of any future medical emergency similar to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare who spoke on behalf of the Chief of Staff thanked various corporate institutions, Churches, NGOs and individuals who donated to the Fund and supported the country in her difficult times.

“Permit me to express gratitude and appreciation on behalf of His Excellency the President to all the numerous donors whose contribution made it possible for the State to fight the pandemic effectively; which effort received global acknowledgement and commendation,” he said.

“I have a singular duty therefore to express the profound gratitude of His Excellency the President, the people of Ghana and myself to the Board of Trustees for good work done” Dr. Nsiah Asare added.

The establishment of the Trust Fund, on March 27, 2020, by an Act of Parliament, (the NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) NATIONAL TRUST FUND ACT, 2020 (Act 1013) was purposed to provide an avenue for well-meaning individuals, corporate bodies and social groups to contribute resources, in cash and in-kind, to complement the efforts of the government in the fight against the Coronavirus disease, which was novel and without any precedent anywhere to serve as a guide in any form.

By the close of the day on Wednesday, August 31, 2023, the COVID-19 Trust Fund was no longer in existence.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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