Ghc237m lost in Central Medical Stores inferno

Ghana’s stock of medical supplies lost after fire completely ravaged the Central Medical Stores in Tema has been estimated to be over Ghc237million.

The figure Ghc237, 798, 707, was arrived at after program managers at the Health Ministry met Wednesday afternoon to conduct an assessment of the loss.

The Central Medical Stores at Tema is an uninsured warehouse containing every conceivable drug imported into the country. It stocks drugs for deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and Ebola.

But fire lasting 32 hours has reduced the highly important national asset to a pile of black powder and billows of smoke. The combustible chemicals and drugs are re-igniting the fire which began Tuesday morning.

Harmattan weather is not making things any easier.

There are suspicions of arson and the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service is set to begin a probe.

The PRO of the Ghana Health Service Tony Goodman told Joy News the disaster is a big lesson for the Health Ministry.

“We have learnt lessons the bitter way”, he said.

Meanwhile Ghana will immediately be relying on Regional Medical Stores which are expected to last for a period of 3 months.

According to the Ministry, local pharmaceutical supply agents will be contacted by Friday to bring in new consignments.

“Malaria was one of the areas we were looking at but thankfully we will get some supplies next week”, Tony continued.

International agencies will also be crucial, he said, in bridging Ghana’s depleting medical supplies.

Reports suggest that sections of the warehouse may have been storing expired products.

Joy News’ Kwakye Afreh Nuamah, who is at the scene, reports some recovered drug containers from a section of the stores have stamped expiry dates from as far back as 2008.

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