MoH denies wrongdoing in Condom Contract

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The Ministry of Health (MoH) says the contract awarded to an Indian pharmaceutical company, Pharmanova, was done in the open and that some of the local companies mentioned in media reports did not participate in the tender process.

The Ministry indicated that the contract was an International Competitive Tender, which was advertised for companies to apply and compete, hence, the Ministry did no wrong in awarding it to the best bidder. The Ministry was responding to a newspaper publication alleging that the MoH denied local pharmaceutical companies the opportunity to be awarded the contract.

The story indicated that the ‘the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) approved a whopping GH¢3,993,930.36 male condoms supply contract the Ministry of Health awarded to an Indian-owned company called Pharmanova Ghana Limited.

The decision to award the contract to the Indians has sent people asking about whether or not Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies such as TOBINCO, Ernest Chemist, Danadams and others, could not have been made to supply the condoms.”

The story purported that most Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies are in total distress and their consignments have been locked up at the ports, as they have difficulty raising money to clear the hefty import charges on them. Some of them have fallen victim to the state’s indebtedness to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), hence, that contract could have been helpful to them.

But the Ministry said that it went through the right procurement method and stated that “after preliminary evaluation, samples of the condoms submitted by each bidder were sent to the Food and Drugs Authority for quality testing.”

It said that only the condoms that passed the quality testing were evaluated financially, and the company that offered the least price was selected.

It continued that recommendations of the evaluation report were then sent to the Central Tender Review Committee and they scrutinised and given approval in accordance with the Public Procurement Law.

The said media publication also said that “a visit to the website of the PPA revealed that the contract was awarded to Pharmanova to purchase a total quantity of 26,849,952 male condoms with pack size of 144 condoms (48 strips of 3) and pack quantity of 186,458, and the contract was signed between Pharmanova Ghana Limited and the government of Ghana on February 4, 2019, and the estimated contract completion date is October 2 2019. The contract sum is in Ghana Cedi with Tender Package No. MOH/2018/NCT/B.2.1/06.

“The Tender Type as published is International Competitive Tender (ICT) and Tender Lot Number(s) 1; Contract Awarded to Pharmanova Ghana Limited.”

But the Ministry opined that the PPA does not give approval for recommendations for award of a contract as reported by the story. It also stated that the procurement law requires that the results of all tenders be published on the PPA website, and that’s exactly what it did.

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