We’ve Not Abandoned Medical Students In Cuba – GNPC Foundation

The GNPC Foundation has attributed delays in the payment of stipends to medical scholars in Cuba, to a disagreement over the mode of payment of the stipends.

According to the Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation, Dr Dominic Eduah, the students preferred to be paid cash in hand, although financial protocols do not allow that.

He said the GNPC wanted funds transferred onto the financial cards of students instead.

Speaking to Citi News after visiting the family of one of the medical students in Cuba who passed on,  Dr Eduah said, GNPC tried at all times to make life comfortable for their scholars in Cuba.

“From the GNPC’s angle, we want to state that we have been overly committed as far as our contract with the students is concerned. We have formed a monitoring team. We travel to Cuba every year but for COVID-19 we would have gone last year. We have been engaging students on their issues. Not that we have abandoned them. On the side of them being served low-quality meals, we beg to differ.”

The majority of the medical students who are on the GNPC scholarship say the harsh conditions they currently live in have been worsened by a delay in the release of their stipends.

According to them, long delays in the payment of stipends, the lack of access to basic healthcare amid a global pandemic, and what they call the unresponsive attitude of the Ghanaian mission in that country, are to blame for their situation.

They claim the situation led to the avoidable death of their colleague, Erasmus Klutse.

Why stipends delayed 
A memo from the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat, dated March 18, 2021, and sighted by Citi News, however attributed the delay to “the transitional formalities which are affecting the release of funds for the settlement of scholarship commitments”.

“[The] Mission is therefore respectfully requested to take note of the development and disseminate the information to all scholarship beneficiaries. Students are advised to be prudent and eschew embarrassing actions in their respective countries,” the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat said in the document signed by Registrar of Scholarships, Kingsley Agyemang.