Museveni to receive global award for Covid-19 fight

President Yoweri Kaguta MusevenI. Photo | PPU

What you need to know:

  • About 11 other Ugandans are also expected to be recognised for the pivotal role they played in containing pandemics.

President Museveni is expected to receive a global award next month in Canada for his “distinguished leadership and dedication” in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The award will be given at the First International Post-Covid Conference in Toronto, Canada.

About 11 government officials, scientists and businessmen are also expected to be recognised for the pivotal role they played in containing pandemics such as Covid-19 at the same event. 

Uganda has faced several disease outbreaks such as Ebola virus disease, Covid-19 and Marburg virus disease, and scientists from the country have helped other nations contain the Ebola virus disease outbreaks.

Ambassador Abbey Walusimbi, the senior presidential advisor on diaspora affairs, said the award and recognitions are also meant to recognise Uganda as a role model for the containment of pandemics in Africa. 

“The President will be awarded at a global platform to acknowledge his distinguished leadership, and dedication in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to recognise the significant role he played to lead Ugandans –that required high-level visionary [leadership] and decision,” Ambassador Walusimbi said in Kampala last Friday.

The international conference has been organised by Livelihood Development Initiatives International (LDII) Canada, in partnership with the Canadian government, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad), the African Union 6th Region Global, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Continental Investments LLC-Vietnam, and the United Nations. 

During the pandemic, the President held several meetings with scientists and periodically addressed Ugandans about the progress in the fight and gave updates about the control measures.  

Some experts and activists say the “radical” Covid-19 containment measures such as the prolonged lockdown, curfew and restrictions on mass gatherings came with a cost to the livelihoods, affected the education system and were allegedly “weaponised” to repress opposition politicians.

However, Dr Bruce Kirenga, the director of Makerere University Lung Institute, and one of the medical doctors who treated Covid-19 patients, said managing Covid-19 has been one of the toughest.

“I have been a doctor for 22 years now, I had never seen a disease which makes people require supplemental oxygen like Covid-19,” Dr Kirenga said.

The other Ugandan nominees for the international recognition are Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Science, Technology and Innovations minister Monica Musenero, Health ministry Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine, former vice president Specioza Kazibwe, and Uganda Virus Research Institute director Prof Pontiano Kaleebu.

Others are former minister in-charge of general duties Mary Karoro, former minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo, Quality Chemicals chairman Dr Emmanuel Katongole, Covidex developer Dr Patrick Ogwang,  Covid-19 incident commander Lt Col Dr Henry Kyobe and  Mr Francis Okello from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), as well as the UPDF.