NGOs in Health have called on the Health Ministry to probe circumstances under which President of the National Diabetes Association of Ghana Elizabeth Denyoh undersupplied free diabetes drugs to hospitals.
The call follows a Joy News exposé revealing how officials selected by the Association to distribute free insulin and glucometers sold it to poor patients.
The Association signed a memorandum of understanding with donor agency, the International Diabetes Federation to provide free insulin for diabetic children under the Life-For-A-Child programme.
But officials selected by the diabetes Association to distribute the free insulin sold strips and glucometers to patients who are unaware that they should be free.
President of NGOs in Health, Gilbert Bernaku, told Joy News the Health Ministry, headed by Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, must streamline activities under its supervision.
“If you don’t have coordinated efforts, these are some of the shortcomings that can happen in any particular sector, and for that matter the health service sector.
“We think that more investigation should be done...we think that the Ministry must make a strong intervention to ensure that we have clean up in the health sector,” he said.
President of the National Diabetes Association of Ghana, Elizabeth Denyoh (R)
The Life-For-A-Child programme partners with diabetic centres in about 42 lower-income countries to provide insulin and syringes, blood glucose monitoring equipment and test strips, clinical care, HbA1c testing, diabetes education, workshops, camps, resources as well as support for health professionals.
The investigation conducted by Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey also revealed differences in figures of insulin sent to the National Diabetes Association and what was supplied to listed health facilities.
In 2013, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital got 240 strips instead of 730 and 20 lancets instead of 50.
Checks also confirmed that the diabetic clinic at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital did not receive the full consignment as communicated by Madam Denyoh to the donor agency.
Dr Emmanuel Ameyaw, who is in charge of the diabetes clinic at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and he told Kwetey that, “When the consignment came, we realized that we didn’t get the exact number that we were supposed to get. We got all the 50 for the meters, but we did not get about 490 of the strips and we did not get 30 of the lancets.”
Meanwhile, Madam Denyoh has explained that there was an 'unofficial' agreement to give some of the medication meant for children to adults.
However, Kwetey also found out that figures to the donor agency were inflated.
In reality, Madam Denyoh attends to 670 children, but on the record, she puts the figure at 712, and her defense is that the remaining medication is given to non-governmental organizations.
This means that she diverted 772 out of 13,104 vials of insulin to unintended beneficiaries in 2015 and 756 out of 12,816 vials received from the donor in 2016.
That is, in 2015 and 2016, a total of 1,528 vials of insulin were diverted from the supply meant for free distribution to children.
The documentary will be aired on Joy News on TV on October 23rd and 24th at 6:30 PM