After months of the collapse of one of the nation’s prestigious storage facilities in Tema, the Central Medical Stores, which was razed down by fire early this year, staff at the facility are yet to have their peace of mind as they are constantly being harassed and intimidated by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and other investigative authorities in the country.
Staff affected in the inferno continue to be invited and detained by the BNI although they have not been indicted or found culpable to have been the cause of the fire.
This was disclosed by the National President of the Health Service Supply Chain Practitioners’ Association, Ghana (HESSCPAG), Mr. Franklin Yamoah Otchere, during the 8th annual general meeting and continuous professional development programme of the association in Cape Coast last week Thursday.
According to him, even though the committee of enquiry set up to investigate the cause of the fire could not establish anything, about five staff were detained by the BNI few months ago and were only released when the association pressed for their release.
“This is unfortunate because our colleagues should be set free and allowed to work devoid of any acrimony. The earlier stakeholders look into this, the better it will be for the association and the interest of the nation,” he noted.
He underscored the importance of the supply chain sector in healthcare delivery, saying without a strong and vibrant supply chain system the timely availability of drugs and non-drug will be non-existent in the country.
The national president called for equal recognition and better conditions of service for the 744 supply chain professionals in the country to motivate and prevent staff from leaving for other jobs.
Mr. Yamoah Otchere also called for adequate and timely release of funding to enhance productivity in the sector.
Deputy Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Gloria Quansah Asare, noted that the year has been very challenging and robust since the health sector had to contend with the fire incident, thus making health commodities availability very challenging.
She, however, commended the supply chain practitioners for rising above the odds to ensure availability of health commodities and uninterrupted service delivery.
She indicated that the availability of the health commodities has been an essential element of the health system since it was a strategic key in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6.
Dr. Asare called on the professionals to continue to utilise the supply chain master plan developed to address some of the inherent bottlenecks within the supply chain to improve their output and further strengthen the overall health delivery in Ghana.
Deputy Director of Administration at the Central Regional Health Directorate, Mr. Lusio Dery, stated that 18 suspected cases of cholera have so far been recorded in the region with 12 confirmed cases.
He added that the region apart from being one of the first free guinea worm regions in the country has consistently recorded reduction in maternal mortality as well as 11% reduction of malaria cases and under five mortality rates.
He advised supply chain professionals to apply high ethical standards and best practices in the discharge of their duties to be able to execute their task with perfection.
A Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Mr. John Gatsi, who chaired the meeting charged the association to use their office to reduce the soaring rate of counterfeit drugs in system and come out with innovations the nation can produce its own drugs to reduce the import bill on the country.