General News Sat, 12 Jun 2021

Sputnik V saga: ‘The optics look very murky’ – CDD researcher

• Government has been slammed for using middlemen to procure vaccines from Russia

• Ghana so far has 20,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine

• The Ministry if Health has defended using middlemen instead of bilateral links

Kwame Asiedu Sarpong, a research fellow with the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has said Ghana failed to do due diligence in the procurement of Russia-made Sputnik V vaccines.

The issue of possible procurement breaches and overpricing of the COVID-19 vaccines using middlemen has dominated the news headlines this week.

GhanaWeb monitored comments the CDD fellow, who is also a pharmacist, made today (June 12) on Joy FM’s news analysis program, News File.

“The 15,000 doses were not matched pairs, if you know the Sputnik vaccines, it comes as two unmatched pairs not like the AstraZeneca where the first dose is the same as the second dose.

“They are two, so if someone is bringing you 15,000 it should be 7,500 – 7,500, not 10,000 and 5,000; so at that time we couldn’t even use it. It was later that they brought the remaining 5,000; was that not also a red flag?

“So I look at the contract and I look at all the things that I am finding out now, did we really do due diligence but the picturesque of what we are dealing with, the optics look very murky and for me that is the biggest thing,” he added.

Government through the Ministry of Health defended the circumstances around the deal with middlemen instead of using bilateral means to get the jabs.

In an interview, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, Chief Director of Ministry of Health said in part: “We have 20,000 doses and it was to prove that they can deliver, so we have that in our custody but no money has changed hands, we pay them after all the 300,000 doses have been delivered.

“But yes we have established letters of credit to that effect but the money will only go to them when they have delivered fully. We have up to the end of July for them to deliver….,” he added.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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