Officials from the ministry of Health on Monday faced the wrath of legislators sitting on the Health Committee of Parliament after they were tasked to explain why some of the districts have not received face masks in spite of receiving funds from government.
The committee members argued that the ministry’s failure to provide free masks to some of the districts in time had led to defeats to some of the legislators in the just concluded general elections.
The committee chaired by Dr. Michael Bukenya that convened to discuss the ministerial budget frame work paper for the financial year 2021/2022 spent part of their time discussing the state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
In their brief to the committee, the officials provided accountability of the Shs 119 billion so far received from government to help in the fight against the pandemic. They said Shs 45 billion has been used in the procurement of masks while Shs 5.8 billion was used for fuel, lubricants and oils.
They said Shs 23.7 billion was used for the procurement of laboratory medical sundries or test kits reagents, Shs 13 billion for the procurement of tents, Shs 6 billion for allowances in the hard to reach areas, Shs 8.5 billion sent to regional Hospitals, Shs 4.3 billion for the contract staff salary and Shs 4 billion for the meals for hospital and quarantine centres,
However, the legislators had no kind words to the officials on issue related to the distribution of free government masks to all Ugandan something that they said cost them heavily in the elections.
The officials countered that more than 33 million masks had been distributed across Ugandans except for only ten districts where delivery will be done soon.
On the Covid-19 vaccine, that is being procured from abroad, the officials said it will only be used to vaccinate 20 percent of the Uganda’s population with the priority being health workers and the elderly.
Dr. Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Health however refused to comment on the progress of the internal production of the Covid-19 vaccine arguing that this responsibility falls on the Ministry of Science and Technology responsible. The well off persons will be encouraged to procure their vaccines.
33 MILLION GOVT MASKS DISTRIBUTED TO UGANDANS
REMAINING 10 DISTRICTS YET TO RECEIVE THE FREE MASKS
WELL OFF PERSONS TO PROCURE COVID VACCINE- DR ATWINE
4BN SPENT ON QUARANTINE CENTRES – MOH
LACK OF FREE GOVT MASKS COSTED SOME MPS