The Health Ministry (MoH) has admitted the Government of Ghana engaged middlemen in the purchase of Sputnik V vaccines adding that the reason for that was because it could not get the vaccines directly from the Russian Government.
In a press release to the media, the Ministry also confirmed that it purchased the Sputnik vaccines for $19 instead of $10 and further explained that it had to purchase at that amount due to transportation as well as other factors.
Continuing, the statement noted that the Ministry has since early this year, made several efforts to procure the Sputnik V vaccine directly by engaging the Russian authorities, such as the Russian Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the CEO of Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), and the CEO of Limited Liability Company “Human Vaccine” and added that meetings were also held with the Deputy Ambassador of Russia in Ghana.
It adds that the MoH also engaged individual Ghanaians and companies for the supply of various types of COVID-19 vaccines but unfortunately, none of these efforts have yielded any results till date.
“Against the background of non-response from direct channels and global shortages of the vaccine, the MoH, on 9th March 2021, responded to an offer from the private office of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the supply of a total quantity of 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines, at a unit cost of US$19,” the statement stated.
The response by the Health Ministry comes after reports by a Norwegian newspaper that Ghana’s government was buying the Sputnik vaccines at an inflated cost of $19 instead of the $10.
The statement mentioned that Ghana’s Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang Manu reportedly signed a contract with an Emirati official and another wanted Norwegian citizen.
According to the website, the deal between the government of Ghana and the two officials was arranged by another intermediary charged with money laundering in Norway.
When confronted by details of the price of the Sputnik vaccine, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Attah is reported to have answered that the government had a choice to make to protect the people of Ghana hence the decision to pay the $19 for the Sputnik vaccine.
“VG– The agreement with the Sheik, do you view it as a sensible agreement? To pay 19 dollars per dose?
“Ofori Attah – I don’t know. You know, you are confronted with “the good guys” from the West not giving you any assurances of supply [of vaccines], and you have 30 million people and are to save lives. You know, it’s easy to sit somewhere else and say: Why are you doing this? But you need to make sure you protect your people. You manage that as well as you can. This is all a contrived and manufactured crisis because clearly there’s enough [vaccines] to go around if only there was equity and justice in what we are doing.”
Read below the full statement by the Health Ministry