Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United States government has donated a 738 million shillings watercraft to Kalangala district local government.
The donation under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR was announced on Wednesday by the United States Ambassador Deborah Malac after her three day’s visit to Ssese Islands.
It is expected to transport patients in need of HIV curative care and health workers to different health facilities at the islands to deliver ARVs.
The boat has a capacity of transporting 16 people. It also has two beds that will be used by health workers while transporting sick people on referral.
The boat has two, 200 horsepower engines that enables it move fast to the furthest Island Nkese within 45 minutes. A fibre glass boat with a 75 horsepower engine would spend up to three hours to reach Nkese Island.
However, several leaders are concerned on the fuel consumption since it will require up to 450 litres of fuel to move to all sub-counties in Kyamuswa constituency.
Kalangala District would only use 260 litres of fuel to traverse all the four sub-counties located in the distant islands including Bufumira, Kyamuswa, Bubeke and Mazinga.
“We now need to allocate more resources to operate the boat because it is important especially when we are doing rapid response and emergencies,” Willy Lugoloobi the District Chairperson for Kalangala says.
Patients have in the past always used cargo boats to access health facilities in the District. Government has for the last three years promised to buy boat ambulances for the district.
A speed boat donated by the Uganda Aids Commission lies idle at the Lutoboka docking pier in Kalangala town after the district authorities failed to meet its repair, maintenance and operations costs.
Ambassador Malac says the United States Government shall continue to support the district in its efforts to end HIV spread.