Denmark injects Shs5b in Uganda's Covid fight

Thursday July 22 2021
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Health workers at Masaka Regional Hospital attends to a 34 -year-old truck driver who tested positve for Covid-19 before he was repatriated to Tanzania on April 18,2020. PHOTO/ISSA ALIGA

By Nobert Atukunda

The Danish government has extended Shs5b support to Uganda towards the implementation of Covid-19 resurgence plan.

Mr Henrk Jespersen, the head of cooperation at Danish embassy,  said the grant will help in strengthening the management of overall response to the pandemic as well as procuring more lifesaving supplies such as oxygen cylinders, Intensive Care Unit beds and backup generators for regional hospitals such as Jinja, Gulu, and Kabale.  

“Many people have lost their dear ones, numerous medical staff are infected and some regretfully have died. From the publications we read, some of these deaths were actually avoidable: like those who died due to lack of oxygen or space at health facilities,” Mr Jespersen said yesterday.

Mr   Jespersen said the grant will be managed by World Health Organisation (WHO) and implementation will be by Ministry of Health and district health Covid-19 response teams.

Dr Yonas Woldemariam, the WHO country representative, said the money will be used for national and district level coordination, strengthening the capacity of infection reporting and response, and contributing towards the management of critical and severe cases.

Other support
Last year, the Danish embassy  gave Uganda a Shs16b grant  for the emergency response to Covid-19 outbreak  and Shs9b was channeled through WHO.

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Meanwhile, government has called upon developed countries to advocate for Covid vaccines for developing countries that are struggling with access.

Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary at Ministry of Health, yesterday said every opportunity to access vaccines should be granted to Africa so that they are able to save lives and reopen the economy.

“As a developing country, we have continued to suffer catastrophic expenditures. People go to hospitals and spend a lot of money, a lot of lives have been lost. What can change this, is access to vaccines. Even when there is money, we have not been able to successfully approach the manufactures and secure vaccines,” Dr Atwine said.

A number of developing countries have been struggling with access to vaccines and have on different occasions blamed developed countries for hoarding vaccines. Countries like India focused on vaccinating their population first and thus limited exports.

Uganda has administered at least 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and more vaccines are excepted next week.

To boost vaccination services, yesterday, Ministry of Health flagged off two of the five refrigerated trucks procured with support from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The remaining three trucks are expected in September, according to UNICEF.

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