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Health Ministry gets sh376m boost to fight COVID-19

By Andrew Masinde

Added 8th April 2020 12:04 PM

Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, assured the public that the support will be used to improve service deliver.

Health Ministry gets sh376m boost to fight COVID-19

Lucy Daxbacher; the Migration Expert and coordinator migration protocol for IGAD (L) looks on after handing over a cheque to Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu as Dr Diana Atwine; PS Ministry of Health looks on Monday. (Photo by Andrew Masinde)

Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, assured the public that the support will be used to improve service deliver.

HEALTH  VIRUS  DONATION

KAMPALA - The Ministry of Health has received a sh376million ($100, 000) boost towards the fight against Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The money is part of the financial contribution amounting to $700,000 by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)from staff members at all levels as a means to signify their willingness to participate in the efforts aimed at protecting IGAD citizenry from the pandemic and show solidarity with the region.

IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa that include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Sudan.

During the handover of the dummy cheque, Lucy Daxbacher, the Migration Expert and coordinator migration protocol for IGAD said the money is a token of solidarity from the IGAD staffs in Djibouti as well as IGAD specialised institutes.

Daxbacher said the problem of COVID-19 is evident in all the eight-member states with over 300 cases with approximately less than 10 fatalities.

"So it is a problem that each country is grappling with. That is why IGAD decided to give support to each member state to boost their efforts towards fighting COVID-19," Daxbacher, said.

She added that IGAD stands with Uganda in this cause as a functionary, and they are available whenever they are needed until the region is free from the pandemic.

Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health, assured the public that the support will be used to improve service deliver for the patients and the people who are affected by COVID-19.

She thanked IGAD for standing in solidarity with Uganda in this fight and promised that the fund will be used properly.

"We really appreciate you for joining hands with us to fight against COVID19 in Uganda. As the ministry, we are going to ensure that we account for each penny given to us," Atwine said.

Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the state minister for primary healthcare said the funds have reached at a time when the country badly needed them.

Kaducu revealed that on 30 March 2020, IGAD hosted an extraordinary summit of all heads of states of IGAD in which the members resolved to collectively formulate a comprehensive regional response strategy and task the IGAD secretariat to develop an accompanying implementation plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the IGAD region.

"They were also tasked to incorporate the protection of populations and special groups that face difficulties in accessing the national health systems such as IDPs, refugees and migrants," she said.

 

 
According to Kaducu, the members were also tasked to establish an IGAD emergency fund for the control and prevention of pandemic diseases and also to expedite the adoption of a coordinated, whole-of-government-approach to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in IGAD member states.

The summit also agreed to strengthen the IGAD regional mechanism for responding to the outbreak of pandemic diseases through increased capacitation of the regional disease surveillance, early warning and response system.

The summit promised to mobilise medical professionals and support from the IGAD community in the diaspora to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the IGAD region and facilitate an enabling environment for strengthening national public health systems in IGAD Member States to deliver and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around half of the planet's population is under some form of lockdown as governments struggle to halt the spread of a disease that has now infected more than 1,287,095 people while over 70,523 are known to have died and 271,882 have recovered according to a Johns Hopkins University tally

As of today, Uganda has no new confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) though a total number of 52 people are affected with 1, 436 under follow up and institutional quarantine.

Donations from other companies

Some of the companies that have given a helping hand to the Ministry of Health include: SCD Uganda, Ltd (producers of Darling hair products) contributed sh200 million, Seyani Brothers donated sh50 Million, Vivo Energy Uganda donated sh60 million and Alibaba Group gave a donation which consisted of 100,000 masks, 20,089 test kits, 741 PPEs and 1,111 face shields.

Also, Uganda is among other African countries that will benefit from a loan of $2m (sh7.6b) that the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved for emergency assistance to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent and ResolveTSL also donated Medical supplies and equipment worth sh200M.

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