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Current state of Central Medical Stores critical in coronavirus fight – STRANEK-AFRICA

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Policy think tank, Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa (STRANEK-Africa) is worried about the state of the Central Medical Stores as Ghana battles Covid-19.

The Central Medical Stores which is located in the heart of Tema was a warehouse for Ghana’s medical equipment and drugs but was destroyed by fire in 2014.

Following this, the Ministry of Health approved the reconstruction of the ultra-modern facility at the cost of GH¢8 million by NMS Infrastructure Limited, a British-owned construction firm. As at now, progress has stalled, and that has become a worry for the entire nation as we battle coronavirus.

STRANEK in a release is, therefore, calling on Parliament to summon the Minister for Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu to question him on the progress of the Central Medical stores as we hope to stop the spread of Covid-19.

They also urged the government to bring on board, local companies that can produce ventilators in support of the fight against Covid-19 just as it is being done in the United Kingdom, the United States of America among other countries.

Ghana has so far recorded 21 cases of the deadly virus with one death so far.

Below is the release

CURRENT STATE OF CENTRAL MEDICAL STORES; CRITICAL IN COVID-19 FIGHT -STRANEK-AFRICA

STRANEK-Africa acknowledges how far government has come in taking measures to control the spread of the pandemic Covid-19 (Coronavirus). The Central Medical Stores is very important to Ghana’s effort at combating the novel Covid-19 and other unforeseen outbreaks. It also remains very critical as it lies at the base of our preparedness to control the blowout of the virus.

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In January 2014, a fire outbreak took away our over GH¢200 million Central Medical Stores (CMS) in Tema. This attack destroyed about GH¢261 million worth of medicines and other consumables which seriously affected the healthcare delivery of the country. The Central Medical Store was the storage facility where the Ghana’s medical equipment and drugs were stored for onward distribution to health facilities across the country. Following this, the Ministry of Health approved the reconstruction of the ultra-modern facility at the cost of GH¢8 million by NMS Infrastructure Limited, a British-owned construction firm. Up till now, we do not know the state of Ghana’s medical reserve and supplies.

STRANEK-Africa is of the view that we cannot as a country rely on our neighbours or allies in times like these especially when they are faced with similar challenges and uncertainties. A typical example is the neglect and deaf ears turned on Italy’s call for medical assistance by EU Member Countries even when they needed them most (A time severely hit by Covid-19).

We however commend the Government of Ghana in initiating steps to bring together all locally manufacturing pharmaceutical companies to harness their capacities to produce locally what we need in case we are confronted with the Italy experience. We are hopeful that government will walk it’s talk in supporting them financially.

STRANEK-Africa makes a passionate call on Parliament of Ghana to summon the Minister of Health to present progress on the state of Ghana’s medical reserve and supplies in the wake of this Covid-19 pandemic. This will help us as a country in assessing our capacity in dealing with this outbreak.

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Government of Ghana should as well bring on board, local companies that can produce ventilators in support of the fight against COVID-19 just as it is being done in the United Kingdom, the United States of America among other countries.

We should all get involved in building our motherland.

Signed.
Emmanuel Osei
Director of Policy and Political Affairs

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