Uganda received a consignment of 5 Bi-directional COVID-19 Smart Texting Walk-Through booths, 26,400 RNA Extraction kits and 26,400 PCR Diagnostic Kits worth over one (1) billion Uganda shillings from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
The items will improve the management of COVID-19 patients through improved patient diagnosis. Managing patients is dependent on laboratory confirmation as it informs the subsequent processes including case management, patient listing and follow-ups.
The same laboratory tests will also be critical in determining the cause of death in situations where the diagnosis of COVID-19 is missed during the management of other conditions.
At the event to receive the items, the State Minister of Health in-charge of Primary Health Care, Hon. Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu said that COVID-19 is a priority for the Ministry because it is a big threat all Ugandans. She added that while the government continues to do all it can to tackle the outbreak, "support from our partners such as KOICA and WHO has kept us strong and focused."
She commended WHO and KOICA for the commitment to support Uganda manage COVID-19.
The Deputy Ambassador of Korea to Uganda Her Excellency Ms Ahyong Kim, affirmed the Republic of Korea's commitment to supporting Uganda to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are continuously looking for ways to complement the efforts of the Ugandan government to manage this outbreak," she said.
The WHO Representative in Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said that cooperation between WHO and the Republic of Korea has been in existence over the years and has been witnessed during a critical time when the country needs more partners to support COVID 19 Response.
He noted that laboratory diagnosis remains essential for any disease outbreak response especially during the on-going COVID-19 outbreak because "it informs the health workers to make the right decisions in case management and patient follow up."
Dr Yonas also extended his appreciation to the frontline health workers under the leadership of Minister of Health, for their efforts in reducing COVID-19 transmission and protecting the people of Uganda.
Globally, a total of 60,074, 174 people have been confirmed with COVID-19 infection with 1,416,292 deaths. In the African region, 1,471,707 cases have been recorded and Uganda ranks 9th out of 47 countries in the sub-region with 19,115 confirmed cumulative cases.
"This is an indication that we still need to do more to flatten the curve. We have witnessed a resurgence in some countries and that scenario will be experienced if we do not adhere to the recommended COVID 19 preventive measures," Dr Yonas added.