Contract workers engaged by the Ghana Health Service (GHS), under the Global Fund health sponsored implemented programmes have expressed worries over locked up of their two-month salaries.
The affected workers are engaged by the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP), National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and HIV/AIDS, being supported by the Global Fund, and they are attached to various health facilities in the country.
GNA investigations showed the GHS had not paid the October and November 2020, monthly wages of the workers, a situation, which they said was worsening their socio-economic livelihoods.
Some of the more than 300 affected contract workers, the GNA learnt were into data collection and screening of suspected TB and respiratory as well as HIV/AIDS and Malaria cases, while few others supervised.
Similar incident happened in 2019, which attracted the attention of the Ministry of Health (MOH) which facilitated payments, with four months arrears of September, October, November and December in January 2020, and the workers feared such an incident could be repeated this year.
The workers have therefore appealed to the government, MOH, and the Global Fund to intervene and look into the matter and facilitate the payment process ‘before the unexpected happened’.
They told the GNA on condition of anonymity, for the fear of victimization that the GHS engaged them in 2011, but had allegedly failed to fulfil its part of the agreement, though they remained committed to duty.
“It is not our intention to go to the press, but these people are cheating us too much. Many of us continue borrowing and we think that is not the best. We must bring this to the notice of the government, MOH, and Global fund because they might not know what is happening”, one of the aggrieved workers stated.
Meanwhile, the GNA learnt the Global Fund, had already paid the monthly allowances of the contract workers upfront.
Mr Benjamin Spears, the country’s representative of the Global Fund who confirmed this, explained the fund had no agreement with the contract workers, instead MOH which the fund supports with a grant to implement the programmes.
“We must get things right. The Global Fund has no agreement with the contract workers and we don’t pay them directly. It is rather MOH and GHS that engaged them in the contract and so it’s better to contact them for any information. Please we must try not to mislead the people”, said.
When contacted, Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, Coordinator of the NTP, confirmed the story but added his outfit had already worked on the salaries of the contract workers a long time ago, and he did not know why the NTP contract workers had not received the two months salaries.
The Global Fund has been supporting health programmes in Ghana since 2002. Ghana has a severe disease burden for tuberculosis and malaria and a high disease burden for HIV.