A multinational, Frontiers Healthcare Services (FHS) has debunked allegations of wrongdoing or corrupt practices in its operation of the COVID-19 testing project at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana.
The firm’s management, in a statement, said the allegations made on social media by one Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, were “false, baseless, and a complete fabrication.”
It described as totally untrue, his claim that FHS short-changed the Ghanaian government.
The company said: “The contractual relationship between FHS and the Government of Ghana was regulated by a duly executed contract which was robustly negotiated by world class professionals on either side.”
The firm noted further that at the end of the contract, “FHS donated one of its laboratories to the Ghana Health Service in satisfaction of its corporate social responsibility.
“The Government of the Republic of Ghana was in no way short-changed by FHS. Rather, the government and people of Ghana derived enormous benefits from FHS in many ways as evident from the foregoing representations.
“It is, therefore, malicious, and wicked for anyone to fabricate figures and such tissues of falsehood and non-existent figures as profits.”
The firm said the most “preposterous, absurd and ridiculous” allegation was the claim that FHS enjoys some form of support from the Ghanaian government.
It emphasised that it had “no connection with any official of the government, whatsoever. FHS, hereby expressly refutes and rejects, in the strongest terms, any suggestion or insinuation, that it has any connection, affiliation or relationship with any member of the government of the Republic of Ghana.
“FHS, therefore, without any reservations, whatsoever and howsoever, hereby expressly denies and refutes any allegation of government patronage. There is no iota of truth, whatsoever, in any of such suggestion.
“This allegation is plainly mischievous, unwarranted, and conjectural, and derives its origin from those whose motivations are driven by an inexplicable disposition to unjustifiably disparage a truly outstanding intervention that has saved Ghanaian lives in a period of truly testing challenge to the nation’s safe existence.”
The firm expressed sadness that what ought to be hailed as one of the country’s greatest achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic, “has been wrought with negative media onslaught owing to the current politically polarised nature of our dear nation.”
Referencing the lawmaker’s alleged comments, the firm said the reopening of the air borders of the Republic of Ghana during the pandemic was made possible by the introduction of innovative health solution systems ingeniously designed by Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited, essentially, with the principal focus of arresting the potential inflow and onward transmission of the virus to the resident population of our dear country, Ghana.”
It said the firm’s efforts made Ghana “to be recognised as the first country in the world to deploy and commence rapid testing on international arriving passengers for the novel COVID-19 virus.”
It explained that to ensure the integrity and reliability of the result of the test conducted under the procedure, “FHS deployed a sophisticated Automated Immunoassay System (AIS) that was proven to have unbeatable accuracy.
“This equipment was independently tested by Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Laboratory Division of the National COVID-19 Task Force and found to be highly efficient and safe.”
As for the $150 cost of the test, the firm said it was the cheapest anywhere in the world.
It said: “Considering the sophistication of test done and the massive investment in infrastructure (including laboratories, testing cubicles, equipment, reagents, etc), human resource (more than 500 staff), rent and electricity, royalties, and logistics (especially Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other infection control measures), it was impractical to charge less than $150 at the beginning of the process, and even at that, it was the cheapest fee charged anywhere in the world at the time.
“It was, indeed, 100 per cent more efficient and cost-effective more than its closest competitors.”
The firm criticised Ablakwa, saying, “This fellow by whatever name he is called has done a huge disservice to those who benefitted from the project; those whose lives were saved by the preventive action of comprehensive the testing mechanism and processes, and for the nation of Ghana as a whole.”