CSOs In HIV, TB Threaten Demo

…Over Locked Up Drugs at Tema Port


A group calling itself, Coalition of CSO Networks in HIV, TB and Malaria, are threatening to stage a nationwide demonstration on Wednesday, April 17, over government’s continuous delayed in clearance of some life-saving drugs currently locked up at the Ports.

The group said, several drugs, including antiretroviral (ARVs) for HIV and AIDS, test kits, ACTs, treated mosquito nets, Tuberculosis and malaria drugs, which are very essential and shipped by Global Fund, have been stuck at the Port for almost a year, without any action by authorities to clear them.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, Monday April 9, President of Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET), Ernest Amoabeng Ortsin, said the current situation, if not resolved, could result in a public health crisis in the country.

He indicated that, people are dying as a result of shortage of these essential drugs at various health facilities, stressing that the demonstration, would be the only way to draw the Presidency, Parliament and the general public’s attention to the problem.

“We believe that what is going on is very insensitive; the lives of people who are on medication are at stake. People on treatment for TB—all these drugs are now stuck at the port and every day we get reports of people dying because they can’t get access to these medications,” he laments.

Why the Delay

Touching on why the drugs were stuck at the port, Mr Ortsin said, after the global Fund had released $400,000 dollars to clear the commodities, government wrote back to the donor, saying the required fund needed to clear the goods amounts to $1.3 million dollars since import duties at the Port have shot up.

“Somebody sends you commodities free of charge you don’t clear them and when the goods go bad then you go back to the donor to give you more funds to dispose them off.

This is insensitive. Today we want to see the commodities cleared at the Port”, the President of GHANET fumed.

He indicated that “as it stands now, we do not know which condition under which the commodities are being stored”.

He revealed that, even though the new Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ms. Julie Essiam, visited them, and assured that the goods will be cleared within 14 days, the Coalition will still submit its petition to Parliament and the seat of government to press home their demand for all the goods to be cleared as soon as possible.

failure of which, the Coalition will stage a massive demonstration on Wednesday April 17, 2024.


Nationwide Demo

“We are going to hold a very big demonstration. We are mobilizing our members from across the country, all civil society organizations that are into health. We are mobilizing them and we are going to stage a very big demonstration in all 16 regions across the country,” Mr. Amoabeng Ortsin said during a TV3 Mid-day news yesterday.

Touching on the current supply status of these drugs in the country, he said, “The latest report we are receiving from health facilities across the country is that there is a shortage, there is a stock out of these very commodities which are being held at the port”.

Reports suggest that, out of the 230 containers containing these medical supplies, only 15 containers have been cleared so far.

GHANET boss revealed, the situation has been “festering for such a long time,” and it appears that through the demonstrations something will be done about it, adding, “we can no longer keep quiet about it.”

“The commodities that we are talking about comprise TB medications, as well as malaria, ACTs and the treated nets which are given to pregnant women and children under five to protect them so this time the issue has gone just beyond the antiretroviral but then affecting all three areas HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria,” he stated.


Related Posts