The Chairperson of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund, Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, has disclosed that, as of June 30, 2022, the Fund had raised GH¢62 million.
She said out of the amount accrued, GH¢53 million was disbursed to support COVID-19 related programmes and expenditure in the country within the same period.
The Chair of the Fund, also a former Chief Justice, made this known yesterday during the bi-weekly press conference put together by the Ministry of Information in Accra. She said the amount raised by the Fund constituted donations from individuals, corporate institutions, and professional associations.
“As of June 30, 2022, the Fund received GHȼ62,329,941.98. Particularly at the heat of matters, we had also received a whole range of in-kind donations, including sanitisers, cleansers, cleansing equipment, various types of dry foods, drinks, among others. In addition, we also received a number of vehicles from donors and other noble institutions, for which we allocated to institutions engaged in the combat of the pandemic,” she explained.
She pointed out that the Fund had so far disbursed GH¢53,230,805.37 in COVID-19 expenditure, procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for distribution to institutions helping in the management of the disease as well as to cover administrative expenses.
The Chair of the Fund also recounted that in 2020, in the epoch era of the pandemic, the Fund disbursed a total amount of GH¢42,245,650.
The amount, she indicated, was the GH¢6,801,840 the Fund allocated to the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund (GCPSF) for the construction of the 100-bed National Infectious Disease Centre in Accra.
She added that the Fund also supported the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and other relevant institutions for the procurement of the needed logistics to heighten public education and awareness of the pandemic and its prevention.
In 2021, she revealed, the Fund disbursed an amount of GH¢4,997,765 towards the fight against the pandemic, whilst in 2022 it has so far made allocation of GH¢5,617,223.
The disbursements, she explained, were cash allocation for the airing of documentaries to promote the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination and the GH¢2,272,762 allocated to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to undertake COVID-19 vaccine research to establish the durability of immune responses elicited by three vaccines within the Ghanaian population.
Mrs Sophia Akuffo said in line with the Fund’s promise to be transparent in the disbursement and management of monies raised to support government in its COVID-19 management, the Fund’s current balance, as of June 30 2022, stands at GH¢9,099,136.
She also mentioned several achievements the Fund had chalked within its brief span of existence.
“They include: Health Infrastructure, incl. Medical Laboratory. The timely donation to the Private Sector Fund helped bridge the funding gap towards completion of the100-bed Infectious Disease Centre at Ga East Municipal Hospital, Accra. Provision of funds to GARH for the laying of a pipeline connecting the hospital’s oxygen plant to its COVID-19 ICU and Holding Bay – the hospital was saved from incurring an average expenditure of GHȻ24,000.00 worth of tanked oxygen per month,” she said.
At the height of the pandemic, she noted, funding assistance from the Fund enabled the rehabilitation and equipping of COVID-19 isolation centre at Pantang Hospital, providing much needed accommodation for affected COVID-19 patients.
She also cited the development of a COVID-19 Laboratory Info System at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to serve all public testing laboratories in the country, and the construction, at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), of holding unit for gamma irradiation facility for the purpose of sterilizing PPE.
She added that the Fund also facilitated the purchase of urgently needed supplies by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and GHS for testing of samples for presence of COVID-19 virus, at a time of shortage of the said supplies.