COVID-19 : Contact Tracing Monies Gone Missing or Embezzled? Health Staff Cry for Justice

The staff of Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Health Directorate in the Western region are dissatisfied with what they call unfair treatment meted out on them by the Metro director of health services, Dr Kofi Badu Sutherland.

In a closed meeting with some staff of the “Contact tracing team”, they disclosed that after they had received the spreadsheet for the first and second trenches of the Covid-19 fund, thus, Ghc11,000+ for stationary and Ghc50,000+ for the work of contact tracing respectively, Dr. Sutherland shared pittance of ghc400, ghc500, ghc600 cedis to the staff and no one knows where the rest of the monies have gone.

On Friday 26th June, the Disease Control Officers expressed their displeasure and dissatisfaction and vowed they were going to take the issue to the highest level. The Covid-19 funds was allocated by the Nana Addo led govt to incentivise health staff across the country to help control the Corona virus pandemic but according to the staff Dr Sutherland thinks otherwise.

“He has embezzled our monies, we would go to the Minister of health and to the President if we do not hear anything about it. Is he the only one that likes money?. Even before he started working here, we were told by some staff at Daboase (his former station) that he is greedy but he can not bring that to the metro” DCO averred.

Earlier in June during the Press briefing, Dr Sutherland was suggested to have contributed to the increment of covid -19 cases in the Western region due to his poor observation of public health protocols.

It was mentioned that positive patients were told by Sutherland to bring their families to the directorate for sample taking. By boarding vehicles and moving through town, is believed to have contributed to the spread of the disease.

Some members of the Sekondi-Takoradi Metro Assembly were appalled by the situation and according to one, the Metro Chief Executive (Hon K.K Sam) avowed his removal from the office if he returned from the sick bed.

According to investigations, staff of Wassa East Health Directorate in April lodged a complain that Dr Sutherland upon reshuffle to Sekondi Takoradi confiscated an office vehicle belonging to the directorate in exchange of an old one donated by World Health Organization (WHO). They called on appropriate authorities to intervene.

……More to follow