Over a million doses of vaccines received at the National Cold Room and issued to user facilities had expired at the various Districts and Regions, Auditor General Report indicated.
According to the report, the Programme Manager explained that the 1,022,348 vaccines were donated vaccines that were delivered to them close to expiry.
With fear that the vaccines could accidentally/mistakenly be issued among the wholesome ones for vaccination which could pose public health threat to the country, the Auditor General said “We recommended that the Director of Public Health Department should ensure the vaccines are disposed of safely.”
Management responded that as part of public health measures, these vaccines are not kept in the cold room at all so that they are not accidentally issued among safe vaccines.
They were rather kept out of the Cold Room and transported to the Regional Health Directorate for destruction according to standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Management also indicated that as part of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and in accordance with law, management is working with a team composed of Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Health Service, Health Partners including WHO and/or UNICEF), the Environmental Health department of the relevant Local Government, Environmental Protection Agency and other departments to dispose of the expired vaccines.
The Auditor-General report has said that section 83 of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) requires the head of the procurement entity to convene a Board of Survey comprising representatives of departments with obsolete stores which shall report on the items and subject to a technical report on them, recommend the best method of disposal.
By Vincent Kubi