Ghana to produce vaccines locally soon


Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Agenda 111 to improve health delivery in Ghana

Ghana to serve neighbouring countries with vaccines

Three local pharmaceutical firms have expressed interest in vaccine production

The Finance Minister, in the 2021 budget, in a bid to directly respond to threats posed by COVID-19, has detailed plans to locally manufacture vaccines in Ghana.

“A draft National Vaccine Policy is being finalised and the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to coordinate production of vaccines is underway,” portions of the budget indicated.

It also stated that, “aligned with the President’s vision, three local pharmaceutical firms have already expressed interest. Government intends to support interested firms to secure partners to fill-in technological and capacity gaps as well as provide support towards securing licenses.”

Finance minister, Ken Ofori- Atta however noted that, the initiative to produce vaccines locally will not just meet Ghana’s vaccine needs but neighbouring countries too, “all these initiatives when completed will not only position the nation to meet its vaccine needs but also supply neighbouring countries with vaccines,” he added.

The Agenda-111 is aimed at boosting healthcare infrastructure and financial access to healthcare as well as achieving quality Universal Health Coverage by the year 2030. The budget captured plans to ensure the swift delivery of quality healthcare under the Agenda 111.

“Preparatory activities including stakeholder engagements have been completed for all the district hospitals except for eight sites in the Accra Metropolis for construction to commence. Procurement processes are underway for the construction of the regional hospitals and the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.” “The Agenda-111 is expected to be completed by end 2023.”

Background

Coronavirus crippled Ghana’s economy, particularly the health sector, where Ghana’s major hospitals were full with reports of some Intensive Care Units being overly populated.

Since the confirmation of the pandemic, vaccines were initially procured from other countries to help. In February 2021 Ghana received its first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX-Research shows that at the time the first vaccines were sent, more than 80,700 Ghanaians were infected with the virus and over 580 lost lives. The vaccine gave hope to the health sector as there was a decline in the number of daily recorded cases.

The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, was however caught up in the middle of a saga after trying to procure Ghana’s second batch of vaccines which was the Sputnik V vaccines through middlemen.

The deal was however abrogated as many brows were raised on the procurement process and prices of the vaccines. Mr. Agyeman- Manu made an appearance at Parliament on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, during the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, where he noted that he does not have a good image anymore owing to the saga.

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Publish date : 2021-11-25 15:45:34

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