June 14, 2024
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Issue tax waivers and clear antiretroviral drugs at ports – Minority to govt

The Minority in Parliament has asked the government to as a matter of urgency issue the necessary tax exemption to ensure the immediate clearance of antiretroviral drugs and other medical equipment and consumables currently at the country’s ports.

The Minority’s demand follows the alleged neglect of donated containers of HIV anti-retroviral drugs since July this year at the ports, which has created needless shortages for Persons Living with HIV.

The minority caucus in a statement issued on Friday indicated that persons living with HIV who depended on the Abacavir Lamivudine regime were at an elevated risk of developing resistance to this antiretroviral drug, rendering it ineffective against the virus.

The Minority added that should the risk crystallize, the government would require more funding to deal with the HIV challenge in Ghana.

The Minority, therefore, demanded that “The Ministry of Finance as a matter of urgency issue the necessary tax exemption waivers to ensure that immediate clearance of the antiretroviral drugs and other medical equipment and consumables; implement an automated tax exemption waiver system for medical consumables and equipment to curtail needless delays in clearing such items at the port and institute reforms at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure that systemic failures that lead to needless delays in the performance of its functions are eradicated.”

The Minority underscored that it was a national emergency and if unchecked could lead to an increase in the prevalence rate of HIV in Ghana, an increase in morbidity and mortality for Persons Living with HIV, and an increase in the overall cost of HIV management in Ghana.

“The Health and well-being of Ghanaians are non-negotiable, and we urge the government to act swiftly and responsibly in addressing this crisis,” it added.

Read the full statement from Minority here

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