GH¢49 million spent in fight against pandemic

BY: Emmanuel Bonney

The COVID-19 National Trust Fund has so far spent GH¢49 million out of the GH¢57 million it has received.

The money was used to support front-line health workers, provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and support for those afflicted with the disease and the vulnerable.

The Spokesperson for the fund, Mr Osei-Hweree Kwame Bempah, said at a COVID-19 sensitisation programme on vaccination for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Accra today (Thursday).

Contributions

“Since the inauguration of the Board of Trustees in April 2020, we have received GH¢57 million in cash contributions from over 700 contributors, but because it is an ongoing pandemic, we started spending the money when it started coming. We have provided PPE to hospitals, testing centres, isolation centres, special care units, all in relation to the COVID-19.

“That is how we spent GH¢49 million out of the GH¢57 million we have received so far. What is left is not much so any opportunity we get we appeal to corporate Ghana to come to our aid so that we will continue to do what we are doing to assist the government in fighting the pandemic,” he said.

Mr Bempah said the COVID-19 National Trust Fund set up by the President and Parliament to complement the efforts of government in combating the disease was to receive voluntary contributions from corporate Ghana to fight the spread of the pandemic.

He told the PWDs that the COVID-19 was no respecter of persons and so they should endeavour to observe the safety protocols of regular hand washing, use of hand sanitisers, wearing of face masks and adhering to physical and social  distancing.

Disease

He said they should also get vaccinated against the disease, as part of the world-wide efforts to contain its spread.

“The COVID-19 is no respecter of persons, whether disabled or not, and so we all have a duty to observe all the safety protocols.

“We see the PWDs as an important section of the society to get the education so that they can in turn educate others when they go home,” he said.

On behalf of the COVID-19 Trust Fund, Mr Bempah presented hand sanitisers, face masks, liquid soap and paper tissues to the PWDs.

The items are to be distributed to PWDs in the Greater Accra, Central and Ashanti regions.

Misconceptions

At the event, two public health nurses at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Mr Prosper Kpobi and Ms Doreen Ama Kyerewaa, charged the PWDs to ignore negative information on the COVID-19 vaccines being peddled on some social media platforms. 

Mr Kpobi said for instance negative social media information that the vaccination affected men (erectile dysfunction), fertility of women and enlargement of breasts were not true.

Admission

Currently, he said, there were 16 people on admission at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital who had not taken the vaccine adding that “if they had done so, they wouldn’t have been lying there.”

Ms Kyerewaa said some people lied about the vaccination to deter others from going for it.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Eye Foundation (an NGO), Mr Isaac Ofori, said the programme was to remind the PWDs that the COVID-19 was still around and so there was the need to continue observing the protocols.