Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng has told Parliament the government is closely working with Uganda’s Missions abroad to procure COVID19 vaccines.
Aceng Wednesday appealed to government to support Ugandans who are involved in research of supportive treatment to COVID19 and other related diseases.
She emphasized the need to support Prof. Patrick Ogwang, the developer of Covidex to conduct clinical trials.
The Minister revealed that they have directed Uganda’s Missions abroad to contact the manufacturers of the COVID19 vaccines so that government is able to purchase them for the citizens.
She said government has made efforts to work with manufacturers of the COVID19 vaccines and signed indemnification agreements.
“Manufacturers are not willing to sell to private providers,” Aceng explained.
She said government has scaled up testing allover the country with rapid testing kits.
People with symptoms are free to go and access the test centres.
She further explained that government to explore possibilities of supporting supply of oxygen to the private sector as this was one of the major cost drivers.
Ogwal questions Aceng
Hon Cecilia Ogwal demanded the Minister of Health to explain to the house why the money from donations by people has been spent on pickups yet Parliament had appropriated the money to be spent on ambulances with priority given to hard to reach areas.
Ogwal demanded for accountability from the Minister for the money appropriated by Parliament to procure ambulances.
“We decided as a Parliament that each and every district, should get an ambulance including hard to reach areas,” she noted.
Aceng in response said there is a high global demand for vaccine and production does not meet the demand.
“And even you have the money, you may not be able to buy any vaccine because you will not be able to get it, whether from the open market or through the other sources.”
“It is important that we appreciate those who are handling COVID19 Pandemic. To-date, there are 69,377 recoveries. If those handling the pandemic were doing nothing, we would not have had these recoveries. It’s also good to give credit where it’s due.”
On the issue of the National Insurence Bill, she said the House forwarded the Bill to HE the President.
“Therefore, I cannot comment unless the question is directed to himself.”
She said the districts have the Mandate to order for the Protective Equipment (PPE) and also to project what they require.
“Sometimes we get challenges in that the same orders are recycled and sometimes there is under ordering.”