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50 districts receive UGX 1.8B for COVID-19 fight

File Photo; Medical worker leading a woman who come into contact with COVID 19 positive truck driver to a waiting ambulance at Luweero weighbridge

Nakaseke, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has released 1.8 Billion Shillings to 50 districts to boost the fight against the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Uganda has so far registered 5,380 cases and 60 deaths of COVID 19 pandemic. 

However, several districts are struggling to trace contacts, manage patients and contain the spread of the virus citing lack of funds.

Now the Ministry has released the funds to 50 districts who have registered highest COVID-19 cases.

According to circular issued by Geoffrey Sseremba on behalf of Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health to Chief Administrative officers, the funds will be used to support surveillance, contact tracing, sample collection and case management for COVID 19 pandemic.

Sseremba directed the CAOs to liaise with the office of the Accountant General for issuance of cash limits so that funds are made available for COVID- 19 response.

Some of the districts include Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono which have each received 102 Million Shillings. Amuru, Tororo and Buikwe each were allocated shillings 50 Million Shillings.

Other districts that include Luweero, Arua, Nakaseke, Kiryandongo, Mbarara, Lwengo, Kabale, Masaka, Pader, Katakwi, Moroto , Bundibugyo, Kitgum, Gulu, Kasese, Lwengo, Kisoro, Bushenyi among others received 31 Million Shillings each. 

Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the LCV Chairperson Nakaseke district acknowledged receipt of the money and district council sitting on Thursday approved the supplementary budget for COVID 19 response. 

Koomu, however, said the money is inadequate to address gaps in the fight against the spread of COVID 19. He listed the unfunded gaps as enforcement, awareness and inadequate masks among others. 

Evelyn Kellen Musiime the Nakaseke District Health Officer says that by the time the disbursements were made, about 24 residents in the district had tested positive of COVID- 19.

Musiime added that the latest two cases were evacuated on Thursday from Kapeeka Industrial Park to hospital for treatment. Musiime says that the district was at high risk of COVID- 19 and the funds will help them to contain the spread of the virus. 

Earlier on Fred Nayebare Kyamuzigita, the Chairperson of Nakaseke District Task Force on COVID-19 said that they had decided to order contacts of the patients to self-isolate in homes over lack of funds to look after them in quarantine centers.

Kyamuzigita said the quarantine centre at Nakaseke Hospital stopped admitting suspects after failing to get Personal Protective Equipment- PPE for health workers, beddings and food among other requirements to look after them. 

In April, the government released 165 million shillings to all districts to combat the spread of the disease.

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