Government has paid $6.4 million to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the supply of three key childhood vaccines, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Minister for Health, has said.
Ghana has been in shortage of childhood vaccine supply since October 2022 which has left thousands of babies across the country unvaccinated according to reports.
Responding to questions about the shortage of vaccines on the floor of Parliament, Mr Agyemang-Manu said: …”Some key procurement and shipping activities are part of the reasons for the delay in the supply.”
Answering a question from Madam Theresa Awuni, Member of Parliament Okaikoi North (NDC), on the amount paid for the vaccines Mr Agyemang-Manu said: “Mr Speaker, we have made payments of about $6.4 million of the Cedi equivalent to UNICEF who supplies us the vaccines.”
He further revealed that a large chunk of the funds for the vaccines had been disbursed by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in tranches.
“Mr Speaker, I have a template on how these monies were released; the NHIA transferred GH¢25 million in June 2022. We also had another GH¢10.5 million in October, we had GH¢13.1 in November and the last tranche was around GH¢23 million in December.
“All of these totalled GH¢71.8 million, and we budgeted this amount based on GH¢6 to the dollar, but we are all aware that the Cedi was not trading at that amount, so, we had shortfalls in the dollar equivalence and that is what caused the delays,” told Parliament.