Tuberculosis, malaria, anti-retrovirals, HIV Test Kits, contraceptives, Ebola supplies, blood products, nutrition, Buruli ulcer supplies, psychotropic products and epidemic commodities have alarming gaps
Emergency products which are critical to save the lives of patients in critical conditions have huge gaps that signal a crisis.
A document prepared by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service was based on a nationwide stock taken after the Central Medical Stores fire indicates that Ghana’s healthcare system is in danger.
Documents obtained by The Finder revealed that the audit also identified huge gaps in medicine supply for tuberculosis, malaria, anti-retrovirals, HIV Test Kits, contraceptives, Ebola supplies, blood products, nutrition, Buruli ulcer supplies, psychotropic products, epidemic commodities and medicines for Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).
The then Minister of Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, wrote a letter to pharmaceutical companies soliciting donations and attached the list of Emergency Product Gaps.
For example, the vaccine deficit for Expanded Programme on Immunization stands at 5.6m doses, according to the audit.
The situation is frightening because in the event of an outbreak of any of the diseases mentioned above, the country will struggle to save lives.
The audit established that the total cost of the Central Medical Stores disaster is GH¢356.1 million (GH¢356,154,008.28), far higher than GH¢237m.
Weeks after the January fire that razed down the Central Medical Stores in Tema, government released GH¢25 million to the Ministry of Health for the purchase of some drugs and equipment.
The three-month grace period authorities gave before medicines in the system would last has expired, raising fears of shortages.
A typical case is that there are fears of a rise in infant mortality in Ghana as vaccines administered to newborn babies to fight deadly childhood diseases are in short supply, endangering the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).
Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, which provides immunity against tuberculosis (TB), has 1,650,000 doses gap.
According to the document, Penta, a combination of five vaccines in one to fight diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B also has a gap of 2,958,000 units.
It noted that Measles Rubella, which protects children against measles, mumps and rubella, is also short by 990,000 pieces.
The document also revealed shortage of the following: AD syringes (0.5ml)-7,506,000, BCG syringes (0.05ml) -1,053,000, Mixing syringes (2ml) - 81,000, Mixing syringes (5ml)-360,000, safety boxes-121,500 and, Child Health record books 855,000.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) is inundated with increasing reports from parents of newborn babies about the lack of the vaccines in various health facilities nationwide.
For example, in the Ashanti Region, some hospitals do not even have syringes and needles for administering vaccines where they are available.
According to reports, post-natal visits by nursing mothers have to be rescheduled several times due to the unavailability of these vaccines.
At the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, the situation is no different.
According to some parents, hospital officials said they did not administer the vaccines because they had run out.
Immunisation is one of the most important preventive health actions in children’s lives, as it provides protection against the most dangerous childhood diseases.
Achieving immunisation through administration of vaccines to boys and girls is a priority, because if they are not vaccinated, they are at major risk of contracting diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which may be fatal in some cases and may lead to long-term debilitating effects on survivors.
Source: The Finder
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|