In a bid to curb HIV/AIDS, the Ministry of Health has spent close to GHC 1 million on the purchase of condoms for free distribution to citizens.
In reaction, Atta Kyea, the Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has frowned at the move made by the Health Ministry and termed it irresponsible. He said that it was not necessary for the ministry to spend such amount of money to support people’s weaknesses and irresponsibility.
The Vice Chairman who is also a Member of Parliament for the Akyem Abuakwa South constituency was really displeased with this act and did not hesitate to say so. He stressed that there were so many things the education sector would have used such huge sums to achieve.
He equally said that since the sensitization programmes for citizens on HIV/AIDS was already enough, there was no need to opt into the purchase of condoms for free distributions. He said every man should be responsible enough not to indulge in unprotected sex knowing fully well there’s the chance of being infected with HIV/AIDS.
He added that any full-grown man is and should be able to purchase a condom if he so wished, because the same person can afford units when he runs out of them. And so the Health Ministry should be scrutinized
“It’s like we saying that you are not going to work but we will pay you all the same, so there is a sense of irresponsibility in that kind of budgeting which I will discourage if it comes to the floor of Parliament,” he said.
On the other hand, a Member of Parliament for Salaga South constituency, said it was a wise and thoughtful decision to purchase the free condoms because it has helped in reducing the widespread rate of HIV/AIDS. He equally corrected the notion that it was purchased, saying instead, that it was donated by donor partners.
“We didn’t buy the condoms, it was provided by donor partners, all that we needed to do was to request for it. In the first place, government didn’t spend a penny on the condoms,” he said.
He argued that the supply of condoms was not exactly for pleasure, instead it was to prevent HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) that the government would have spent so much in trying to control.
Members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were quite perturbed when it came to light that the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) spent a whopping GHC1,450,000.00 to purchase condoms in 2011. The Ministry of Health had been on a hot seat trying to explain their motive for the expenses they had made. Although they said it had come from global partners, the Chairman of PAC did not buy their explanation. At the moment GHS and MOH are still under scrutiny on the issue.