Chairman of Parliament’s Health Committee Dr Ayew Afriyie has launched a scathing criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO), insisting Ghana does not need advice from the global health body on how to access Covid-19 vaccines.
The WHO this week warned Ghana against engaging suspicious middlemen in our desperate bid to secure vaccines.
It asked Ghana and other vulnerable countries to deal directly with vaccine manufacturers or thoroughly check the background of vaccine middlemen. It said many middlemen are selling fake vaccines at inflated prices.
The WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products, Mariangela Batista Galvao Simao responded to revelations that Ghana may have already being a victim of inflated vaccine price peddling in our attempt to secure vaccines from Russia.
“We have received similar concern regarding other vaccines with intermediates selling it at a much higher price than what is been actually sold by the manufacturers. There is a lot of substandard and falsified Covid product being commercialised out there contact the manufacturers to make sure that the intermediates is legal,” he said.
But in a strong reaction, Dr Ayew Afriyie dismissed the WHO advice describing it as insulting.
“You necessarily must deal with the middle person so I don’t need the WHO person to advise me on that. That WHO officer speaking is also insulting. He talks to Ghanaians as if we don’t have a FDA to verify and also approve a drug, they approve the use of Sputnik so advising us that we should stay of stuffs coming when every batch of every dose coming, every batch of concession, a sample will be taken to FDA.”
Government had ordered 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik Vaccines through intermediaries. That order is still yet to be delivered.
Centre for Democratic Development fellow, Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu says Ghana should simply cut its losses.
“The last directive we had from the President was that Sputnik vaccine were going to start arriving 15 th of May. Today is the 9th of June they haven’t arrived. We need to accept that probably like the WHO said we dealt with a middle man who swindled us. We’ve lost money for 300,000 doses times 19 and should just accept that we went into a bad deal,” he said.
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