The Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has hailed the support of the donor partners and the United Nations Family towards Uganda’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister was receiving equipment worth USD 250,000 procured by the World Health Organization (WHO) with funding from the Irish Government.
“The COVID-19 outbreak is a complex pandemic and remains so as we wait for the WHO to approve a vaccine that can protect everyone from the disease. This, in turn, has presented complications in controlling the outbreak and as you will note, we continue to register a rise in the number of cases globally and in Uganda,” she said.
At the event held at the Ministry of Health headquarters, the minister received patient care equipment to care and support critically ill COVID-19 patients. They include 60 Hand-held Pulse Oximeters, 49 Oxygen Concentrators, and 31 High Nasal Cannulas with accessories to manage the first 100 critically ill patients. The equipment will be installed at treatment centres in the country.
The newly established COVID-19 command centre at the Ministry was also equipped with conference furniture. This donation is part of the support worth 1.8 million Euros that the Irish Government has extended to the Ministry through WHO for the COVID-19 response.
“On behalf of the government, I thank the Irish Government and WHO for the support in the response. We are committed to fighting COVID-19 and urge the public to adhere to the Ministry Standard Operating Procedures,” said Dr Aceng.
While handing over the equipment, the Irish Deputy Ambassador to Uganda, Ms Nicole McHugh commended the Ministry of Health and WHO for the efforts mounted in the COVID-19 response thus far. She mentioned that her government was cognizant of the complexities in responding to the outbreak noting that, “the COVID-19 pandemic has proven rather difficult to contain but we have unwavering faith in the Minister and her team that it will be contained.”
“This equipment is part of our continued support through WHO to the government and you can count on our commitment to support you to bring COVID-19 to an end,” she added.
The WHO Representative in Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said that Uganda is at a critical phase of the response because of the evident rise in cases. He added that “with the progress of the epidemic to Scenario four which is characterized by widespread community transmission, the number of COVID-19 cases has gradually increased in the past one month. We need to be more alert than ever, abide by the directives and guidelines and implement all the Standard Operating Procedures.”
Dr Yonas commended the Ministry of Health on the effective leadership and coordination of the response which in turn has enabled Uganda to keep the number of cases and deaths relatively low compared to other countries.