Outrage in Ghana after parliament approves $700,000 for coronavirus patients, $7m for contact tracing
London, April 3, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Ghanaians home and abroad including Deputy Minority Minority Leader have questioned why only $700,000 has been allocated to support patients of covid-19 infections and their households while staggering $7million has been budgeted for contact tracing.
Parliament has approved the sum of $700,000 to provide support for the families of those who are isolated or quarantined.
According to the Finance Committee of Parliament, the support will include psychological counselling, food baskets and feeding during isolation, quarantine and treatment period.
It will also include fee waivers to access medical care and cash transfers to mitigate the loss of household income due to job losses that may result from the closure of firms, enterprises, informal businesses, and government agencies during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Addressing the press in Parliament, Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi, said the amount was not just inadequate, but shows a misplaced priority and lack of care on the part of government
“We all know there are many people at home. You are budgeting only about GH¢4 million. Why have you allocated only US$700,000 to support households whilst investing over $7million to contact tracing,” Mr. Avedzi said.
Government is also committing $3.6 million of the $35 million World Bank loan to strengthen the country’s health care system including training and capacity building for health staff and training of contact tracing teams.
$3.4 million will be used to strengthen multi-sector national institutions and platforms for policy development; and support institutional and organizational restructuring to respond to emergencies such as pandemic diseases.
Community engagement and risk communication with emphasis on broadcast and communication support materials including billboards, and documentaries is pegged at $7.4 million.
$2.7 million will be invested in implementation management, monitoring and evaluation.
$4.5 million of the amount will be spent on case detection, confirmation, contact tracing, as well as strengthen disease surveillance at the points of entry.
Another $12.7 million will be spent on containment, isolation and treatment, including leasing, renting, establishment and refurbishing of designated facilities and centers to contain and treat cases in a timely manner