There is cold war raging between the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) over the procurement of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits.

Authorities at the NMCP are angry over ?frustrations? they suffer at the hands of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) which is in charge of procurement of RDT for NMCP?s activities.

They contended that GHS is unable to undertake procurement of malaria RDT kits for the NMCP and yet is acting like ?Konongo kaya,? refusing to allow another to take care of the procurement.

The officials who called at the premises of Today newspaper narrated the unfortunate experiences the NMCP is currently going through, but pleaded for anonymity for fear of obvious victimisation by their superior.

They alleged that ?the work of NMCP is being sabotaged by Ghana Health Service? because of the inability of GHS to ?resource our outfit? as mandated.

According to the officials, this development is hampering the activities of NMCP and dampened the morale of the staff especially the ?field? officers. They were also worried that unavailability of RDT kits could affect health delivery, especially against malaria cases, since we are in the peak season, the rainy season.

?It is a dreadful situation. There are insufficient kits in the system and in case of an emergency the programme cannot rise up to the challenge, because we are operating with inadequate stock,? one of them stated.

On the level of coordination between the two agencies, the NMCP officials pointed out that it was cordial, since the two institutions are like ?Siamese twins? set up by the Ministry of Health to aid effective delivery of health care to the people of Ghana.

?For close to two years we have only been undertaking emergency purchasing? of malaria RDT kits for our services, and that is not good enough, one of them stated adding that, the last time they checked the tender GHS held for procurement of the kits is still in limbo.

When the paper contacted an employee of GHS, he said ?the process is too slow but I understand that there is a controversy surrounding the process which is proving to be difficult to resolve.?

The NMCP officials claimed that the lack of ?proper procurement procedure? in the acquisition of malaria RDT kits could be the cause of the delay.

?Emergency procurement has always not been of good help to the tax payer, since value for money is compromised. Even quality of product cannot be out-rightly guaranteed, because you are doing something under emergency you may forget to take relevant precaution vital to success,? another added.

Checks at the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) revealed that emergency procurement cannot be done on a large scale but according to the very need of the moment. ?When you buy on emergency basis the law does not allow you to buy beyond a certain threshold,? said PPA official who spoke to Today.


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