Absa Bank Uganda has donated four mobile isolation units valued at Shs 100 million to the Ministry of Health to aid in the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation was handed over to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, by the Ag. Chairman of the Board of Absa Bank Uganda Limited, Nadine Byarugaba.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Nadine Byarugaba said, “We are proud to be part of the private sector’s concerted effort against the COVID-19 pandemic, and this contribution is just one of the ways which we are joining the fight”.
“These mobile isolation units, known as EpiTents are made in Uganda and designed to ease the work of medical caregivers to supplement the country’s health care facilities,” she added.
The EpiTents can be set up anywhere, are solar-powered and have previously been deployed for use to fight Ebola.
They are designed to be mobile, multi-functional hospital isolation wards to reduce heat stress and cut down on humidity while protecting against airborne pests and weather conditions to ease the conditions of both patients and medical response teams.
Production of these EpiTents is specialized and done by vendors directly selected and supervised by the innovator, Makerere University School of Public Health, through the Resilient Africa Network (RAN).
The contribution is in addition to the bank’s earlier donation of Shs 20 million to the COVID-19 Taskforce fund, given through the Uganda Bankers Association (UBA).
The funds collected by the association will support the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the health workers at the frontline as well as give financial support to Makerere University Department of Immunology & Molecular Biology, College of Health Sciences, who are in the advanced stages of producing rapid test kits for COVID-19.
“We truly appreciate the efforts of our unsung heroes – the health workers - and hope this contribution will strengthen theirs and the government’s response to this pandemic. We are grateful to the Ministry of Health and other government departments for their commitment and dedication to ensuring the wellbeing of communities and the country,” Byarugaba added.