The minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, has responded to social media criticism after pictures emerged showing her meeting a group of people in Lira while she was not wearing a face mask.
In a letter posted on her social media channels, Aceng said she did not wear a mask because it was not a political rally. She said the meeting was meant to distribute facemasks to the people of Amoro sub county, Lira district.
“They got excited when they heard about face masks, and specifically the Minister for health whom they call ‘mama Corona’ and rushed to see me. They were difficult to control as seen in the picture as many wanted to take pictures and also get masks from me,” she wrote.
Many of her critics have said Aceng’s behaviour was reckless given the fact that she is the Health minister. Others said she was not practicing what she was preaching.
Aceng has been outspoken and vocal about wearing face masks and social distancing in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19. See her full response below.
My attention is drawn to social media posts of pictures of me meeting crowds with no social distancing and no masks and even alleging that I was holding a political rally.
I would like to reiterate that I was not holding a political rally.
I was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo Sub county and training people on how to properly use the masks on Friday 10 July 2020.
However, at the time, village health teams and other youth were also being oriented on the processes for distribution of the Long lasting mosquito net distribution nearby.
They got excited when they heard about face masks, and specifically the Minister for health whom they call ‘mama Corona’ and rushed to see me. They were difficult to control as seen in the picture as many wanted to take pictures and also get masks from me.
I took time to educate these youth on the same as well as on the face masks. They left as very knowledgeable people appreciating the importance of face masks and social distancing.
As the Minister who is at the helm of the Corona response and an aspiring Woman MP of Lira District, I am cognizant of the rules and guidelines that we as government have put in place.
I continue to appeal to you all to wear your masks, maintain social distance and wash your hands with soap regularly to prevent COVID19.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng
Minister for Health
12 July 2020.