Aga Khan injects Shs2b into Uganda’s Covid fight

The director general of Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa (left), and Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (2nd left) receive the donation from Germany Ambassador Matthias Schauer (2nd right), and Mr Amin Mawji, the Diplomatic Rrepresentative of the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda, in Kampala on Tuesday. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • Dr Aceng thanked Aga Khan Development Network and the German government for the donation.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has lauded the Ministry of Health for providing strategic guidance to the country in the fight against Covid-19.

While handing over Covid-19 testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPEs) valued at Shs2b to the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, Mr Amin Mawji, the AKDN Diplomatic Representative in Uganda, said the fight against Covid-19 requires concerted effort.

“We are pleased to make our contribution. The Aga Khan Development Network has had a long history of working in the region for more than 100 years in social development work, [and] healthcare. And in this very difficult time for Uganda and the whole world, it is incumbent upon us to participate and support government and the Ministry of Health in their efforts to battle the new wave of the virus,” he said.

Mr Mawji explained that the testing kits and personal protective gear that were handed over to the Health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, are a result of the longstanding partnership between the Aga Khan Development Network and the German Government through KFW with the aim of helping Uganda fight the pandemic. “One of the lessons we have learnt is that this is not a war that you can fight alone.

The government has done an outstanding job of creating policy and setting direction. Aga Khan Development Network has had a programmatic Covid-19 response across the globe and the region with partners such as the German government, and it is with their generosity that we are contributing Shs2b for Covid-related equipment,” he said.

German Ambassador to Uganda Matthias Schauer said his country made the contribution not only as an act of solidarity towards Ugandan efforts to combat the crisis, but also towards ensuring that countries have sufficient diagnostic capacities and protection for the frontline workers.

“Germany and the European Union have been leading in multilateral response in the fight against the pandemic. Our aim is to ensure global and equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments. In this moment when Uganda is facing the second wave, we need to ensure that sufficient diagnostic capacities and protection is provided for the safety of frontline workers,” he said.

Dr Aceng thanked Aga Khan Development Network and the German government for the donation, noting that during the current wave, both the health workers and the patients who survive the disease require psycho-social support even after being discharged.

“This donation is going to help us expand our diagnostic capacity so that everyone who needs to be tested is tested and we pledge [that] we shall expand the testing capacity. We need to work together, holding hands during this difficult time. The lockdown comes with many challenges for people to survive both economically and also survive the pandemic,” she said.

The donation
The donation financed through a grant offered by the German Development Bank (KFW), consists of 23,000 Covid-19 testing kits, 22,000 Covid-19 extraction kits and 554,700 masks. It comes at a time when Uganda is experiencing a rise in the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths. 

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