Tue. May 18th, 2021

Coronavirus: National Trust Fund could shut down by April – Sophia Akuffo

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Sophia Akuffo, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the National COVID-19 Trust Fund, has expressed great fear that by April this year, the monetary vault of the Ghana COVID-19 Fund could become completely empty. 

This, she said, poses a great threat to the fight towards the coronavirus in the country, particularly because recent figures show a sharp and continuous rise in cases, making their work a very critical one to the 

“If you remember, last week, we donated some items to three medical centers and to the National Commission on Culture, and the National Ambulance Service. Now, we have an empty warehouse as a result and we’ve handed the warehouse back to the Army, whose warehouse it is. And so we don’t have any items anymore: no PPE, no sanitizers, nothing,” she said. 

Speaking to GhanaWeb on the sidelines of the installation of the Digital Laboratory Information System (LIS) at the Noguchi Virology Laboratories at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR), the former Chief Justice stated that the last of its GHs6 million will not be enough to sustain the heavy demands it continuous to receive. 

“And then, in terms of funds, we have just about GHs6 million left of which, really, if we look at the sort of requests we’ve been receiving, and so on, the furthest that amount will take us maybe to about April and then the vault will be empty. 

“I think maybe for a while, people felt that the pandemic is over but it is not over. I think the figures show it is not over; everybody is now being reminded that it is not over but it has not been something to make us happy or proud because we’ve gone to levels, we had never reached before and for Ghana and because of the number of properly fitted medical facilities, it’s quite scary,” she said. 

The installation of the LIS at the Noguchi Virology Laboratories, costing over GHs 600,000, is the first phase of the “LIS for Ghana” project and is planned to be followed this year by a similar installation at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory, Accra. 

The SchuyLab LIS is expected to better the work of the Institute by 30% and increase the speed of delivering test results, helping to totally eliminate the manual way of test gathering for the coronavirus.

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