The United States through its Department of Defence (DoD) has donated Covid-19 testing reagents and personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth $1.87m (approximately Shs6.8b) to help the government of Uganda in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the hand-over ceremony of the first batch of supplies at the Ministry of Health offices in Kampala yesterday, the US Embassy deputy chief of mission, Mr Christopher Krafft, said they are ready to work hand-in-hand with Ugandan partners to overcome the pandemic.
“The US Mission in Uganda contributes more than $500 million (Shs1.8 triillion) to Uganda’s health sector every year and we are pleased to be able to provide this additional assistance from the Defence Threat Reduction Agency and the American people to help in the fight against Covid-19,” Mr Krafft said.
The additional supplies through this donation will be delivered over the next two months.
The $1.87 million of supplies include testing kits to test approximately 50,000 Covid-19 samples, N95 masks, gloves, surgical gowns, and face shields.
Mr Krafft said these contributions will be used to support deployment of a Health ministry mobile lab that will bring assistance to Ugandans who live far away from health facilities that have Covid-19 testing capabilities.
The mobile lab will be jointly staffed by the Health ministry and the Uganda Virus Research Institute, a longstanding partner of the US government agencies like the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAid, among others.
The donations come at a time when Uganda has reported increased community cases of Covid-19 across the country, something that has overwhelmed the health facilities and testing kits.
See related stories on Page 5 (Daily Monitor newspaper December 11, 2020)