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General News of Monday, 19 July 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

We needed to save Ghanaians from dying - 'Frustrated' Health Minister on overpriced Sputnik V vaccines

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

• Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, appeared before Parliament last week

• He gave reasons to as why he procured the Russian Sputnik V through a middleman at $19

• The minister said he took that step to save the lives of dying Ghanaians

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has noted that he procured the Russian Sputnik V vaccines from a middle man, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum out of frustration.

He explained that at the time of the procurement of the vaccines, the number of Ghanaians dying from coronavirus was on the high, hence, his action, to protect the lives of Ghanaians.

Appearing before the parliamentary committee to answer questions on the overpriced vaccines, the Health Minister said, “February, 78, March 56, these were the numbers [of people dying] and if you, any of us here were the Health Minister at the time, I think you might have taken certain decisions that on hindsight or going forward you may not have done those things. This was the environment that I found myself in. Out of desperation, frustration, so many things and people were dying we needed to protect our citizens.”

The contract has however been terminated after the middleman did not meet the obligations required of him.

Background

Ghana government through Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu reportedly entered an agreement for the supply of 3.4 million doses at a unit cost of $19 after the initial cost of $25 was negotiated.

The factory price for the Sputnik V vaccine is $10 but several factors contributed to pegging it at $19.

Some of the factors that contributed to the $19 price tag included; land transportation, shipment, handling and special storage charges.

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