Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Prof. Alex Dodoo, will appear before the Privileges Committee of Parliament today, to respond to the contempt charges against him.
The Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Ghana Medical School, is alleged to have denigrated the House in the media, describing the members as “ignorant” for raising concerns over the Ebola vaccine trial intended to be undertaken in the Volta Region.
The Speaker, Edward Adjaho, on Tuesday June 16, referred Prof Dodoo to the committee, Chaired by the First Deputy Speaker, Ebo Barton-Oduro, and gave the committee two weeks to present its report to the plenary for a decision to be taken.
Mr. Adjaho described the professor’s comments as unsavory, and wondered why he would use such harsh words on the members who were only raising concerns over public health and safety.
The Speaker’s decision to drag Prof. Dodoo to the House was after Members of Parliament (MPs) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, Manhyia South, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, and the Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, among others, had drawn his attention to Prof. Dodoo’s alleged attacks on the House in the media.
Prof. Dodoo was reported on some media networks to have condemned the reaction of the MPs to the vaccine trial which is to take place at Hohoe.
He said Ghanaians needed an apology from the law makers for making such statements on the floor of the House out of ignorance.
Prof Dodoo said it was a shame for the MPs to ask whether the trial had been conducted on mice and chimpanzees when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health could have easily obtained clarity on the issue from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), an institution mandated to carry out such trials.
“What shocked me is that I heard an MP say that, ‘do we have systems’. Does that MP not know that we have the FDA which is being regulated by the Public Health Act of 2012 and that, that organisation is mandated by our laws to carry out clinical studies? If these MPs had just taken the most casual of checks with the body licenced to do this, they would not have made such statements,” he said.
In reaction to the invitation from the House, Prof Dodoo, has expressed his readiness to honour it and would be pleased to answer any question thrown at him.
By Yaw Kyei