The Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has Wednesday dispatched equipment from GAVI worth Shs 33bn, including motorcycles, solar fridges, generators and cold boxes to health facilities in the countryside, to support immunization programs.
The equipment includes 657 motorcycles (for Health Centre IIIs), 996 solar fridges, 10 Generators and Vaccine carriers and cold boxes.
The equipment was procured by World Health Organization in Uganda, UNICEF Uganda with support from GAVI – the Global Vaccine Alliance.
This part of the GAVI Health Systems Strengthening grant. Under the 1st Grant, the Ministry received; 21 staff housing units, 608 fridges, 19 district vaccine stores, 90 Generators, 64 vehicles, 2 Refrigerator trucks, 600 motorcycles, 9 motor boats for lakes, and 1,500 bicycles for VHTs.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister Ruhakana said the motorcycles are meant for Immunisation, cautioning the receiving entities against using them for boda boda and other purposes.
“To our health workers, We need each other to have maximum benefit and saving of our children,” he said.
The commissioning ceremony held at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala was attended by Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng who appealed to the districts receiving money under Immunisation system support and Primary Health Care to ensure that the equipment remains functional and do the work they need to do.
On her part, Dr Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health said the equipment cost USD 9m.
“You will recall that previously our installations of solar panels were vandalized. Hence, we designed panels according to our needs to combat theft- after the launch of the previous panels,we have not registered any theft as a result of these design modifications,” she said.
Created in 2000, GAVI is an international organisation – a global Vaccine Alliance, bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
It shares the cost developing countries pay for vaccines, which has resulted in more than 460 vaccine campaigns and dramatically boosted immunisation against virulent diseases.