NSSF has donated 5,000 Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits, reagents and accessories worth over Shs 381 million to the Ministry of Health.
Part of the donation (Shs 60 million) has been contributed voluntarily by individual NSSF employees.
The NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba says procurement of the kits is being undertaken in conjunction with the Uganda Virus Research Institute. Delivery of the kits is expected in the next few days.
Byarugaba said that the Fund is responding to a call by the Government and health experts that testing for the coronavirus is one of the most important steps in combating the spread.
“Our decision to donate testing kits is informed by the model Government is employing in combating the coronavirus, which is an emphasis on testing as many suspected cases as possible, as well as their contacts,” Byarugaba said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also emphasised the need to escalate testing for the coronavirus as one of the most important steps in combating the spread, given that a significant number of people who test positive are asymptomatic.”
The WHO also says Collection and testing of appropriate specimens from patients meeting the suspect case definition for COVID-19 is a priority for clinical management and outbreak control.
Testing allows health services to quickly identify who has the disease and arrange for them to receive the care needed.
Effective testing programmes allow governments and health authorities to understand how prevalent the disease is and how it is evolving.
Tracking positive test results helps authorities make evidence-based decisions to try to slow the spread of the disease.
The acquisition of 2 mobile laboratories by Government for deployment at border points heightens the need for adequate testing kits.
“Given the advice from health experts, it is obvious that there is a critical need to test as many suspected cases as possible to control the spread of Coronavirus, hence our choice of donation.” Byarugaba added.