The Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Atta Kyea has criticized the Ministry of Health for the cost of condoms it distributed for free describing the move as “irresponsible.”
He insisted that such action should not be condoned since the sensitization of citizens on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is enough.
“I will not encourage the state to sink so much money into that area, if that is the case, the education is useless, that if you are a man of adult age and you are unable to buy condom…but you can buy units to be calling people then it sounds a bit irresponsible. We shouldn’t empower the weakness of others; it shouldn’t be a state policy,” he added.
Atta Kyea who is also the Member of Parliament for the Akyem Abuakwa South constituency made the remarks on Eyewitness News in relation to reports that the Ministry of Health spent over GHc1 million to buy condoms to control the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Officials of the Health Ministry and the Ghana Health Service on Monday had a hard time explaining to members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) circumstances under which such amount was used to buy condoms in a bid to curb HIV/AIDS.
The Chairman of the PAC, Kwaku Agyemang was surprised saying “I want to be educated because I wonder why a huge sum of GHc1, 450,000 will be spent on male condoms as if we are sponsoring people’s pleasures…why should such an expenditure be part of your budget?”
However, it turned out that the amount was funded by donor partners.
Atta Kyea further explained on Eyewitness News that the amount could have been used for projects to boost healthcare in the country.
“People should be responsible in their indulgences and I would rather say that we should send this money to other areas of health like malaria containment…but to say that somebody wants to have his pleasure, he is of full age, he is not sufficiently sensible and responsible and you have unprotected sex, when we know that AIDS is around, then it’s some kind of indulgence that the state should not be too much involved. The education should have drawn people to their senses by now.
“It’s like we saying that you are not going to work but we will pay you all the same, so there is a sense of irresponsibility in that kind of budgeting which I will discourage if it comes to the floor of Parliament,” he added.
Meanwhile, also speaking on Eyewitness News, a ranking member of the PAC and MP for Salaga, Ibrahim Dey Abukabakar said the decision was a wise one because it has helped in reducing the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country.
He said “we didn’t buy the condoms, it was provided by donor partners, all that we needed to do was to request for it. In the first place government didn’t spend a penny on the condoms.”
“Prevention is better than cure. Don’t you see that the percentage of infection of AIDS has reduced in the country; don’t you see that the supply of condoms has contributed to this? So if you tell me that the supply of condoms is for pleasure, I beg to differ because it has succeeded in preventing a lot of venereal diseases that the government would have spent money to cure in the hospital,” he argued.