The Data and Advocacy Consult has jumped to the defense of the Health Minister, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu over the inconveniences in the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines.
According to the Group who noted how instrumental Mr Agyeman Manu has been in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic, the Minister rather chose the health and safety of Ghanaians over procedural measures in procuring the Sputnik V vaccines.
It will be recalled that the Health Minister who appeared before Parliament on July 19, revealed that he was unable to seek approval from Parliament before signing an agreement with Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to procure Sputnik V vaccines.
That, according to the Minister was because he was frustrated and couldn’t think ‘properly’ due to his desire to prevent further deaths related to Covid-19.
It was also disclosed that some clauses in the Ministry of Health’s 64 million dollar contract for supply of Sputnik V vaccines are in breach of FDA regulations, as well as biased and skewed against the state.
Speaking at a Press conference in Accra on Thursday, July 29, 2021, the Executive Director of Data and Advocacy Consult Ghana, Mr Felix Asirifi said, “We believe that the minister has been forthright with us as a country and has shown he is also human and could make mistakes.”
Meanwhile, He noted that Ghana has been recognised as one of the countries that have been able to manage the pandemic to the extent that the country has unfortunately recorded a death toll of 823, comparatively one of the lowest in the world.
Mr Felix Asirifi also noted that Data on Worldometer.com today, attest to the fact that Ghana still stands as one of the countries with one of the lowest infection and death rates per population, adding that this feat was chalked with the immense contribution of the Minster for Health.
“The history of covid-19 will never be written without the mention of the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the Health Minister, Mr Agyeman Manu. Even in the face of being infected and having been admitted to ICU, the Minister gave leadership by surviving the disease and giving hope to those that have been affected and also returning to the field to fight against the pandemic,” he said.
He added that, “We want to appeal to parliament to use this report in framing laws to forestall such eventualities when we are in difficult times and the laid down rules regarding procurement could be bypassed.”
Mr Felix Asirifi therefore encouraged the Health Minister to be focused on the good job done so far because covid is still within the country.
“We are also by this encouraging the Minister to be focused on the good job done so far because covid is still within our borders. And to be encouraged by the number of lives he and his team have saved by the grace of God and a dint of hard work,” he added.