The Prime Minister Ms Robinah Nabbanja has said provision of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) to frontline health workers will boost the fight against the spread of Covid-19 as the country awaits delivery of more vaccines.
“The numbers are going down and this is commendable but largely due to the role of health workers. I saw medical workers cry the other day as they didn’t have PPEs which puts their life at stake. Let’s make health workers first priority,” she said.
Ms Nabbanja made the remarks on Tuesday while receiving PPEs that included one million FFP2 face masks, 54,600 antigenic testing kits and nine Osiris3 respirators from the French Government valued at € 2.7 million (Shs 10.8 billion) at the National Medical Stores (NMS) in Entebbe.
“The problem and absence of vaccines is not only in Uganda but a global problem especially for the developing world countries. It’s not easy for us to get the vaccines and I believe it’s only the preventive measures that will help us fight this disease as we wait for government to get vaccines,” she said.
The Ambassador of France to Uganda Mr Jules-Armand Aniambossou said the donation was a gesture of solidarity towards a friendly country in the fight against a common enemy, urging need for a joint response to the Covid-19 pandemic that is straining health systems.
“My President Emmanuel Macron has made several attempts to rally the international community in favour of the poorest countries, especially in Africa. At the G7 summit last February, Macron called on Europe and developed countries to allocate 4 to 5 percent of their Covid-19 vaccine stocks to the Covax facility for the benefit of the poorest countries, especially Africa,” he said.
Mr Aniambossou said it is estimated that developing countries would need nearly two billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021 in order to protect at least 20 percent of the world’s populations.
“The French President also urged the pharmaceutical companies making Covid-19 vaccines to transfer technology abroad so as to accelerate global production while stressing the need for transparency and regulation of the pricing and castigating the tendency towards excess profits based on scarcity of the vaccine,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Ms Jane Ruth Aceng said the PPEs are a big boost to Uganda’s health system.
“The donations will be deployed in various health facilities involved in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The remuneration of kN95 respirators will be a big boost to health workers to protect themselves as they do their work,” she said.
“To date, we are recording an average 295 confirmed cases on a daily basis. The mortality rate is not going down since many of the sick delayed to come to the health facilities. The positivity rate remains at ten percent against the desirable one which is below five percent,” she said.
The NMS Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms Sheilla Nduhukire said NMS will distribute the donated items to respective public health facilities upon receiving dispatch instructions from the Ministry of Health.