The Ministry of Health has received an additional 2,800 oxygen cylinders and 48,172,700 syringes from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to support the continued fight against COVID-19 and other health complications in the country.
Valued at USD 688,800 for the cylinders and USD 2,862,440.8 for the syringes, the medical supplies were purchased with funding from WHO and the German Government respectively. They were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, at a ceremony held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Wandegeya.
“The syringes and cylinders we are receiving today will help build the capacity of the emergency and vaccination departments. I welcome the continued support of WHO and the German Government in strengthening our health system,” said Dr. Aceng.
Speaking at the same function, the German Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Mr. Matthias Schauer, reaffirmed his government’s readiness to Uganda in addressing the health challenges facing the country.
“The syringes provided today are intended to ensure the continuation of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and can be used to meet other vaccination needs as well. I am glad that Germany is enabling Uganda to accelerate its response to COVID-19. Global cooperation and solidarity will be our only chance to defeat the virus worldwide,” Mr. Schauer stated.
The WHO Representative to Uganda, Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, said, “WHO remains true to the commitment made at the founding of the organization more than 70 years ago and espoused in its current mission of “Promoting health, keeping the world safe, and serving the vulnerable.” “The provision of these supplies shows our continued support to Uganda in preventing and controlling outbreaks,” he emphasized.
Dr. Tegegn also explained that the 2,800 oxygen cylinders donated, when filled with oxygen, will serve more than 850 patients each requiring 15L/min of oxygen for 24 hours. “Like any other long-lasting healthcare equipment, after the management of critical patients, the cylinders will then be made available to treatment centers to ensure the continuity of essential health services,” he added.
The provision of this equipment is an addition to other generous contributions of the German Government since the onset of the pandemic. That included donations of more than 5 million vaccine doses, support provided through WHO to strengthen the country’s response to COVID-19 case management, surveillance, and coordination, and to identify known and new variants of SARS-CoV 2 (COVID-19) in Uganda.
Since the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Uganda in March 2020, WHO, in collaboration with many partners, has continued to provide technical and financial support to improve the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including support for the development of the national COVID-19 response plans, the national vaccine deployment plan, and the resurgence and recovery plan.