By Gifty Arthur
A Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu, has presented Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to the Ministry of Health, to be supplied to the various health facilities across the country in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The PPEs, comprising ventilators, gun thermometers, KN95, goggles, surgical gloves, medical shoe covers, disinfectants, wipes, masks and other medical supplies, cost over US$400, 000 and were donated by the Chinese State and companies in China that have subsidiaries in Ghana.
They were presented to the Foreign Affairs Ministry by Ghana’s Mission in Beijing, headed by Ambassador Edward Boateng, for onward distribution to health facilities to ostensibly complement government’s efforts.
At a short presentation ceremony at the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday, Mr Owiredu, said since the outbreak of the COVID-19, the Ministry has been at the forefront coordinating international support for Ghana.
According to him, the Ministry, together with its Missions abroad, have been working tirelessly to guarantee the interest and welfare of Ghanaians abroad and also to mobiles resources and goodwill to support Ghana’s fight against the deadly virus.
On behalf of the Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Mr Owiredu, commended the Embassy in China “For this laudable initiative and for facilitating the speedy arrival of these much needed medical supplies, which will no doubt, go a long way to augment the efforts of government to fight this pandemic.
The Ministry, and for that matter, the Government of Ghana, is sincerely grateful to all the Chinese companies that contributed to this donation”.
He continued “We are particularly grateful to Tianyun Manganese, the parent company of Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) for generously donating more than half of these medical supplies on display here today”.
A deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Oko Boye, who received the items commended the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Mission in China and the companies that responded to the plea, saying their gesture is very much appreciated adding, it will go a long way to boost efforts by government.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ledzokuku, said medical supplies are something government will continue to distribute in the various health facilities but said, since they are disposables, the likelihood of them getting finished is possible, but assured government will always ensure they are restocked or resupplied.
He called on others, both public and private, to emulate the gesture by partnering government, to curtail the pandemic.
Touching on reported cases of stigma, Dr. Oko Boye, condemned the act saying it was “not necessary .We have to make sure we don’t discriminate against people, who have had history of COVID-19”.
He noted with regret areas in parts of the country, where attempts to site COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres, but were vehemently rejected by residents
“In fact, I have witnessed communities that say don’t bring isolation centres, but If you are saying we should not bring isolation centre to your town, when your relative gets COVID-19, should we banish them from Ghana? Or we should forgive me, slaughter them?
That is not the way to go, as a people we must stand and help our own when they are in need and the best way to show your Ghanaian culture, is to make sure that, you support initiatives that are made to save lives. Isolation centres, will save our lives, treatment centres will save lives, partnerships will save our lives”.
Dr Oko Boye, said government is committed to improve the gains made so far, but said “It will take sustained behavior, risk reduction behavior to maintain these gains” adding the citizenry would have to “continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, avoid huge gatherings, continue social distancing, to reduce your risk of getting the virus”.
Deputy Ambassador to China, Dr. Charles Dwamena, said the items come on the back of a request made by the Foreign Affairs Minister that missions abroad support the government in the fight against the virus by soliciting for assistance in their respective countries to augment the ones back home procured by government.
The Deputy Ambassador, mentioned in particular, Tianyun Manganese, the parent company of Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) for generously donating more than half of the medical supplies.
Dr. Dwamena assured, the Mission would continue to support government’s efforts, adding “We are working to bring more to assist”.