The African Centre for Health Policy Research and Analysis, says the government’s reasons for the procurement of Sputnik-V vaccines through middlemen are unbelievable.
According to them, the government could have secured the vaccines directly through the Russian government and not intermediaries, despite the seeming procurement challenges.
After a Norwegian news tabloid, Verdens Gang, reported that Ghana has made a request to purchase 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccines through two businessmen who are selling it to Ghana at $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose on the international market, the government explained that it could not secure the vaccines directly from the manufacturer, hence the need to go through some middlemen, and that explains why the cost is higher than the standard price.
But the Executive Director of the African Centre for Health Policy Research and Analysis, Dr. Thomas Anaba, says the reasons cannot be accepted by Ghanaians because other African countries were able to secure the same vaccines directly from the Russian government.
“The idea that they couldn’t deal with the Russian government and that they had to use middlemen, to some of us, is unbelievable and suggests that they are not telling Ghanaians the truth. The Russian Embassy is in Ghana, we have a Ghanaian Embassy in Russia, and we have diplomatic ties to Russia. There are also many big people in this country who were seen in Russia, and many of them are still in Russia undergoing training.”
“Russia is also looking for more countries to buy its vaccines however, our country is saying it can’t negotiate while other 14 African countries have been able to get the vaccines. The issue of middlemen shouldn’t come in” he said.
Minority demands abrogation of Sputnik V vaccine procurement contract
The Minority in Parliament has demanded the immediate abrogation of the Sputnik-V vaccines procurement contract.
According to the Ranking Member on the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, revelations about the government procuring the vaccines at $19 per dose instead of $10 smacks of financial impropriety and cost inflation.
Mr. Akandoh stated that there is no justification for the procurement of the vaccine at that cost.
Mr. Akandoh had said in an earlier interview that the Minister for Health, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, will be dragged before Parliament’s Health Committee over the development.
The Minority Parliament subsequently filed a motion demanding a bipartisan probe into the Sputnik-V vaccine procurement deal.