‘COVID-19 National Trust Fund in dire need of money’

BY: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

The COVID-19 National Trust Fund is in dire need of funds, to enable it discharge its mandate, which is to complement government efforts at fighting the pandemic in the country.

According to Chairperson of the Trust Fund, Justice Sophia Akuffo, high public apathy that had characterised the COVID-19 fight in recent times had led to dwindled financial resources to the Fund, making it handicapped to execute its duties.

She appealed to individuals, corporate bodies, public and private associations to contribute to the Trust Fund, to enable it continue discharging its mandate.

“The COVID-19 disease is still with us. We do not know when it will go away, therefore, none of us should dare be complacent or approach the fight with a lackadaisical attitude,” she cautioned.

Speaking at a symposium in Accra, yesterday, the former Chief Justice disclosed that from the end of August to November this year, the Fund had received just one cash donation to support its activities.

Meanwhile, of a total of GH¢57,023,092 cash donations received by the Fund since its establishment in April, 2020, it had expended GH¢41,738,987 in the provision of materials and financial support to various medical facilities and vulnerable groups across the country.

“We continue to receive requests for support from sections of the society to sponsor one project initiative or another almost on daily basis but unfortunately the misapprehension has resulted in drastic reduction in the frequency of donations and contributions to the Fund,” Justice Akuffo said.

Organised by the Trust Fund, the symposium, which accounted to the public, activities undertaken so far, and advanced ways forwards in making the Fund much effective, was on the theme; “Combating a global health pandemic; Ghana’s COVID-19 National Trust Fund.”

It brought together health experts, researchers, traditional leaders, private entities, civil society organisations among others, to dialogue on the role of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund and fashion a way out of the present situation.

Justice Akuffo said, with indications of a second wave amidst impending activities, including elections and Christmas festivities, it was important that the country guarded against a scourge subsequently.

“We need more funding and material support of every kind to reach every medical facility in the country and intensify public education, information provision and sensitisation programmes in every community and corner,” she stated.

“All efforts need to be made, and all hands need to be brought on board to bring the pandemic under control,” she urged.

Contributing to a panel discussion at the event, Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, admonished the public not to be complacent, but keep adhering to outlined safety protocols.

“We can reverse the current trend we are seeing if we all put on our masks and continue the hand hygiene practices, particularly at workplaces where we are seeing more new cases coming from,” he stated.