Large quantities of assorted essential medicines donated for free distribution to a number of healthcare facilities in the country, are reported to have gone bad at the Customs warehouse at the Aviance Cargo Terminal at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, due to difficulties in clearing them.The medicines donated by Direct Relief, an American medical relief organization to Breast Care International (BCI), Ghana’s leading medical non-governmental organization championing the breast cancer crusade are to be destroyed.They could not be cleared early enough due to some alleged bureaucratic challenges encountered by BCI in the clearing process.Valued at over 21,000 dollars per the Ministry of Trade valuation, the drugs were meant for the treatment of a wide range of diseases including breast, prostate and cervical cancers, heart and mental illness.Sources close to BCI told newsmen that the medicines arrived in good condition at the airport between September last year and February this year.According to the sources, the consignments could not be cleared quickly enough because of the delay in securing the necessary approval from some government establishments notably the Department of Social Welfare and its parent body, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.When eventually about GHc4,000.00 was paid by the BCI as levies and customs duties a week ago, the drugs were found to have expired due largely to the delay in releasing them.

Source:  Ghanaian Times