The former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science David Obong has accused the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Monica Musenero of disappearing with accountability files intended to help the Auditor General’s investigations into the expenditures.
Obong said while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee to respond to the Auditor General’s forensic investigation report into government expenditures on #Covid-19 funds.
In 2021, Uganda embarked on developing its vaccine. Under the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE), a brainchild of President Yoweri Museveni led by Dr. Monica Musenero, then a Presidential Advisor on Epidemics, government set aside Shs31 billion for the development of the country’s first-ever #Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr. Musenero told Eagle Online that she couldn’t respond to the allegations by Obong as she was attending the meeting but promised to call back.
was in a meeting but would
Prof. Vinanda Natulya, a medical researcher and Chancellor Busitema University told the committee that an impression was created that the #Covid-19 vaccines but the process takes time.
“I alerted the President that he should not think that we shall get a vaccine before developed countries because they were already ahead. What was important was to establish a national capacity to respond because #Covid-19 is not the last outbreak we are going to get,” said Nantulya.
He said #Covid-19 will come in periodic attacks. It is important that we continue the work on the development of vaccines against #Covid-19 including vaccines against other variants which are going to emerge.
The Assistant Director, Uganda Virus Research Institute Dr. Jennifer Serwanga said that development of the vaccine stalled due to complexities in accessing green monkey cells which are used to multiply the virus.
“You cannot access many of these biological things because they do not come to this part of the world. It took six months for us to get the green monkey cells and we are the first ones in Africa to get them. We have stocks of them, we now have enough vile viruses,” she said.
She re-assured the legislators that Ugandan scientists have the capacity to develop vaccines but she urged the government to plan for expansion of vaccine development facilities and invest in equipment.