Uganda’s Ministry of Health will spend Shs 157bn in its response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Uganda, according to Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng.
She said the Ministry first received a sum of Shs 15bn under the contingency emergency response component provided by Finance.
“We have Shs 53bn that is already with us for use,” she told reporters on Thursday.
She also revealed that on top of that, Finance disbursed Shs 5bn a month ago.
“The Ministry of Finance will again during this week wire to Ministry of Health Shs 99bn. That brings the total amount of money to Shs 157bn that will be provided to the Ministry to handle this crisis going forward”.
However, additional resources will be needed especially for acquisition of Personal protective Equipment (PPE) and sample material removers, she said.
The President in his most recent address said that there is more support needed in vehicles required in the COVID-19 response, urging the private sector to donate.
The Minister used the presser to explain on some areas of concern including the issue of quarantine payments. There have been queries from the public regarding who foots the bills for testing and treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Dr Aceng said that these costs will be met by the government of Uganda.
“People don’t pay for tests. Government meets the costs of testing and treatment”.
She however clarified that in the event that a patient under quarantine needs to be isolated in private facility that is more comfortable as opposed to the hotels and schools designated by government, the individual will foot the costs. The facility designated for private isolation is the Women Specialized Hospital at Mulago national referral hospital, she said.
The Minister used the address to further appeal to the public to take the preventive guidelines seriously.
“Some people think COVID is not serious. You should watch the news and see what’s happening in countries that are much more advanced. If it has brought them to their knees, to what level will Uganda be brought?”
“We have this opportunity to flatten the curve and weed out the cases. Let’s not push our health care system to levels we cannot manage. We have challenges that developed countries don’t have, so please maintain social distance”.