The Ministry of Health has finally delivered the first batch of 464500 face masks for distribution to residents of Mbale District.
This delivery comes at least five months since the government pledged to distribute masks to citizens across the country when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
Jonathan Wangisi, the Mbale District Health Officer (DHO) confirmed receipt of the consignment from the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, adding that a door-door distribution will commence Thursday with each beneficiary getting one mask.
The consignment comes as CovID-19 cases continue to dwindle, and at the same time with the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, but according to Wangisi, it is important that people continue with SOPs, hence the masks come in handy.
“The COVID-19 situation is stable, we have seen declining cases, we have fewer alerts from the community and we believe that the number of new infections has greatly reduced,” Wangisi said.
“That is not a reason to celebrate because just like elsewhere when we lay our hands down, we shall experience a surge,” he added.
However, according to the DHO, the program of distribution could soon suffer a setback since the district has not been facilitated to enable officers to move around to distribute the masks.
The arrival of Facemasks almost half a year later was received with mixed reaction from the public.
One of the locals who preferred anonymity questioned the number of masks for beneficiaries.
“They initially told us that each beneficiary was supposed to get 4 (four) masks, where did the 3 (Three) go?”
“A promise is a debt; I can’t wait for mine,” said Notufa Tenywa, a resident of Mbale city.
“They have taken too long to deliver, for me, I moved on and I don’t need a mask from government,” an angry local said.