General News of Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Government has given the strongest indication it will not shield persons involved in the suspected arson at the Central Medical Stores last week.
The state lost medical supplies and equipment meant for distribution to regional health facilities nationwide, when fire ravaged the facility leaving nothing to be salvaged. It took fire personnel four days to completely bring the inferno under control.
Estimated loss in monetary terms is about GH?237 million, the government announced.
“It’s a hugely unfortunate incident that has happened… It’s a huge blow,” Deputy Health Minister Dr. Victor Bampoe told Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
According to him, the sector Minister, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang Mensah had visited the Stores and was unhappy about how the facility was being managed. He said the Minister was set to take certain actions the day before the CMS was consumed by the fire.
“What surprises us is that the day before he was supposed to take an action this thing occurred…he was supposed to ask certain people to do certain things,” Dr. Bampoe said.
So far, four top officials have been interdicted following incriminatory report on the fire pending further investigations.
They are Director Procurement and Supply of the Ministry of Health, Samuel Boateng; Director Supply Stores and Drug Management at the Ghana Health Service Dr Kwesi Addai Donkor; Head of Stores at the Central Medical Stores, Abdul Karim Iddrisu and Programme Manager of the Malaria Control Programme, Dr Constance Bart-Plange.
Nonetheless, the Deputy Minister said the disaster “sort of expedited what he [Minister] was about to do when this fire occurred”.
“That’s why it’s very interesting that the fire occurred when it occurred”.
He indicated his outfit will go to every length to expose those behind the incident.
“Honestly we are really devastated [so] there is nothing to hide”.