The government, in a re-enactment of its 2020 public appeals for help, has again asked Ugandans of goodwill, businesses and investors in the country, to contribute cash for the purchase of oxygen cylinders and Covid-19 vaccines.
While receiving a donation of 300 oxygen cylinders yesterday, the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, said the government, which passed a new Budget last month, is struggling to bankroll the purchase of enough vaccines to inoculate the targeted 21.9 million Ugandans.
“I take this opportunity to call all other Ugandans and companies to step up and be counted in the national response to Covid-19,” she said adding: “You may be aware that this pandemic, most of the countries which are on top of it, have vaccinated their population. Our government is struggling to ensure that we buy as many vaccines as possible so that people get hard immunity”.
After false starts and questionable decisions, Uganda received 864,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from Covax – a global facility to enable poor countries to access the scarce jabs – and an additional 100,000 doses to start national mass vaccination on March 10.
Another batch of 175,200 doses donated by the French government through Covax arrived in the country last month, with officials who doled out 2000 of these doses for discretionary use by businessman Ham Kiggundu, arguing that planned mass vaccination has been stymied by the ending 42-day lockdown.