MoH, GHS not forthcoming in briefing Health Committee on COVID-19 – Sandaare

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Member of Parliament for Daffiama-Bussie-Issa and member of Parliament’s Committee on Health Dr Sebastian Sandaare, has stated that the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service are not forthcoming in briefing the Health Committee of Parliament on the procurement and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the committee has already advised the two ministries to frequent parliament to keep them abreast of the news regarding vaccines in the country since they represent the people but to no avail.

Dr Sandaare said the two ministries have a lot to do in terms of informing them on vaccine issues in the country which has necessitated the leadership of the Health Committee to summon them before parliament to answer the pertinent questions concerning COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

He made this declaration in an interview with Komla Adom on the Mid Day news on TV3, Wednesday, June 23.

Dr Sandaare was commenting on the back of the new Delta strain that has been detected at the Kotoka International Airport(KIA) which the Ghana Health Service has stated it has not run into the general population of Ghana yet because it has been contained and sequestered from seeping into the Ghanaian communities.

He said “as for what the committee knows, I will say that the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service are not forthcoming to brief Health Committee members on this vaccine issues which was one of the advice that we gave them that: once a while, come to the committee, brief us because we represent the people so that we can be abreast of the vaccine issues. So that the ministry has a lot to do in terms of interacting with the Health Committee is concerned”.

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On the question of filing a motion in parliament to summon the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service before the House to answer questions regarding vaccines and the new strains, he said “we are discussing and normally it takes the leadership like chairman, ranking member to do that.

“It’s a concern so definitely we will look into it as leadership will direct. In terms of the effectiveness, I remember Prof. Awandare made some remarks to that effect and the Minister of Health, Ghana Health Service rebutted by saying that AstraZeneca is effective to the new Delta strain that is coming. 

“But I just want to put things in the right perspective that both units are communicating but I think the point we need to understand is that what Prof. Awandare said was that: look, the vaccines that are coming are strain specific, so what AstraZeneca will do probably for the UK strain might not be as effective as the Delta strain. So that was the point he was trying to explain, it doesn’t mean if you take the AstraZeneca vaccine it will not minimize the effect of COVID-19 if it is due to the Delta strain. More strains are coming and we need multiple jabs, we don’t need one type of vaccine like AstraZeneca and say that it’s good for all, that is how the vaccine works but it’s likely to reduce the severity of the ailments if it’s due to the Delta strain”.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana


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