Atwine: Covid-19 cash to be used for building blood banks

More than Shs 29 billion was realised from donations by the private sector to facilitate the government response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine has said.

Atwiine’s revelation was in response to widely circulating rumours that the Ministry of Health had failed to account for the Covid-19 donations.

Atwine said that part of the money will be used to set up structures at border points which will serve as health worker accommodation facilities plus construction of blood banks in Arua and Soroti districts.

She said that all the money was kept on the consolidated fund account as per the dictates of the Public Finance Management Act, until last week when the money was released back to the ministry.

President Yoweri Museveni led the appeal for donations to the government’s Covid-19 response efforts, weeks after he placed the country under lockdown in March last year.

Several corporate companies, private individuals and institutions responded with donations such as vehicles, foodstuffs and personal protective equipment for health workers and money for purchase of new vehicles.

Atwine said that all the donations haven’t been diverted from the initial purpose and notes that they are to purchase a few vehicles and the rest of the money will used to revamp port health with challenges that came clear at the height of the pandemic when they struggled to maintain key health workers in the same place. 

The vehicles that were donated in kind, Atwine said, have been deployed for Covid-19 sample collection and surveillance.

The number of Covid-19 cases has greatly reduced with 54 new cases registered on Tuesday, and only 44 people still on admission in hospitals across the country.

In total Uganda has had a cumulative 41,016 people testing positive and 335 deaths.

Experts however warn that soon the country will be experiencing a second wave that will have a lot of people getting infected. This wave, experts warn should get the country guarded.

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