Uganda's Ministry of Health Receives Equipment Worth Nine Million Dollars
Kampala, 10 February 2020- The Ministry of Health received cold chain and transport equipment worth nine million dollars procured through United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) with support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The equipment included 657 motorcycles, 996 solar fridges, 10 generators, vaccine carriers and cold boxes.
The motorcycles will be used for surveillance and distribution of vaccines and will be allocated to Health Centre IIIs in selected districts. Ten generators will be allocated to District Vaccine Stores while 1 generator will be allocated to the National Medical Store. There are also 5000 vaccine carriers and 1000 cold boxes to strengthen the cold chain component of vaccine storage and transportation.
The Prime Minister, Right Honorable Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who commissioned the immunization transport and cold chain equipment urged district officials to "ensure that there is proper utilization of these facilities. The motorcycles are meant for immunization, please do not take them for 'boda boda' and let us ensure that we remain on course to help our children be immunized."
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng emphasized the necessity of the equipment for the country saying, "it is our goal that every child who needs vaccination in Uganda is immunized and protected from preventable diseases so that they live to their full potential. It is also our goal that we reach all unimmunized and under-immunized children and we intend to achieve this within the next three years which is why we are intensifying provisions of equipment to the districts."
Dr Aceng further called on the district representatives to ensure proper care of the equipment.
The Technical Officer for Vaccines and Immunization at WHO, Mr Andrew Bakainaga said that the goal of the support from all partners is to reduce morbidity and mortality for the population of Uganda. "We, therefore, call on the Ministry of Health and districts to put this equipment to good use. In everything we do, let us remain focused on the goal which are the results", he said
"The GAVI supported Health System Strengthening Grant will equip the national health system with improved infrastructure to deliver vaccines. We are proud to contribute to the strengthening of the national system, in order to achieve equitable access to immunization services and improved health outcomes", said Noreen Prendiville, the UNICEF Deputy Representative in Uganda.
The allocation of the equipment to districts was informed by a number of field assessments that included whether; the district had benefited from the first GAVI Health Systems Strengthening Grant, availability and current state of equipment in the districts, new districts formed before 2018/19, underserved areas and districts with obsolete fridge technologies.