The shortage of condoms on the Ghanaian market Wednesday prompted the donation of some 20 million condoms form the United states Agency for International Development (USAID).
The donation of the condoms to the Ministry of Health (MOH) comes on the heels of the recall of about 126million Chinese-made condoms because they had microscopic holes identified by the Food and Drugs Authority and health Officials in April this year.
The recalled defective condoms came in a silver and white package with a red AIDS ribbon and the words “BE SAFE” written on them.
In April, the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority said all imported condoms were supposed to be inspected prior to being distributed but for unexplained reason the condoms in question were not examined.
The donation is the third time in five years that US has sent emergency supply of condoms to Ghana to avoid a national stock-out of high-quality affordable condoms.
The 20 million condoms valued at US$ 600,000 is expected to meet condom use for the next six months and ensure that there is no disruption to the country’s reproductive health and HIV prevention efforts.
In a handing over ceremony, out-going USAID Mission Director Ms Cheryl Anderson encouraged the Ministry of Health (MOH) to work on a long term plan to put commodity security high on its development agenda.
She also urged the MOH to implement its recently developed Supply Chain Master Plan, which was designed to improve the management and quality of health sector commodities in Ghana.
The supply chain master plan was recently approved by stakeholders and is expected to enhance supply chain activity coordination, systematic and transparent logistics systems and IT infrastructure, to improve commodity storage, distribution, monitoring and reporting.
Health Minister, Ms Sherry Ayittey confirmed the long-established assistance from the US government in the areas of Tuberculosis, Malnutrition and family planning and noted that they were all geared to help Ghana achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
She expressed her appreciation to the MOH development partners for efforts made in streamlining challenges in the procurement systems
According to her, arrangement were been made to bring in about 8.5 million more condoms by October and added that, the manufacturers of the recalled condoms has assured the MOH of a replacement.
She gave the assurance that the donated condoms were WHO certified and meets Ghana’s specification. GNA