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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Govt Releases GHC7.4m To Clear Locked-Up Medical Supplies At Tema Port

Dr. Bernard Oko Boye – Minister of Health


In a significant development aimed at resolving a protracted logistical issue, the Ministry of Health has received GHC7.4 million from the government to facilitate the clearance of essential medical supplies that have been stalled at the Tema port for over a year.

The allocation of these funds comes in response to the prolonged delay in clearing life-saving supplies donated by the Global Fund for Community Foundation.

The disclosure of this substantial financial injection was communicated in an official statement issued by the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer on Thursday, June 13, 2024, heralding a milestone in remedying the impasse that has beset the clearance process of the locked-up commodities.

The donated medical supplies, which were gifted to Ghana without charge by the Global Fund, encountered a bureaucratic quagmire that led to their prolonged detention at the Tema port, despite the pressing need for their timely distribution within the healthcare system.

Highlighting the stipulations governing the clearance process, it was revealed that government bears the responsibility of covering taxes, levies, and port charges amounting to US$3.6 million, a crucial prerequisite for authorizing the release of the held commodities.

The Ministry of Health expressed its satisfaction in announcing the reception of the allocated funds earmarked for the clearance of the backlog of Global Fund commodities at the Tema port, including crucial medications for tuberculosis treatment. The Ministry acknowledged the arrival of 283 containers housing a diversity of essential items donated by the Global Fund, signifying a watershed moment in the long-awaited resolution of this logistical conundrum.

With the financial impasse now alleviated by the government’s disbursement of GHC7.4 million, the Health Ministry is optimistic about swiftly resolving the residual outstanding containers by the end of June 2024.

A plan is set in motion to settle the demurrage fees required for the clearance of all remaining containers at the Tema port, affirming a commitment to addressing systemic bottlenecks and streamlining the dispensation of critically needed medical supplies.

“The Ministry of Health’s receipt of GHC7,429,694.39 from the Ministry of Finance for the settlement of demurrage highlights a concerted effort to expedite the clearance of obstinate Global Fund containers,” the statement read.

By Vincent Kubi

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