BY DOREEN NASASIRA – 

The Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has launched the GAVI HSS-2 immunization equipment. The event took place at the Kololo Independence Grounds on Wednesday, 5th February 2020.

Giving his remarks at the launch, Dr. Rugunda said the health sector has always been a priority to the government of Uganda. He said the strategy of the government is to prevent diseases and promote health through immunization and other relevant channels such as nutrition and sanitation.

Dr. Rugunda at the launch of the equipment in Kololo

Dr. Rugunda commended the ministry of health for being sensitive to the needs of children in the country by ensuring that they are immunised.

“In 1987, President Museveni launched the immunisation program and since then it has progressed enabling many lives to be saved,” the Prime Minister said.

He called for proper usage and maintenance of the equipment and tasked that more efforts be geared towards securing the equipment especially from theft related cases.

Rugunda thanked the development partners for their commitment towards supporting the health sector in the country.  He urged the officials from the ministry of health to remain united towards the cause of disease prevention in order to yield maximum benefit in the health sector and save the lives of children.

A fleet of Motor cycles to be used in the exercise

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the goal of the health sector is to ensure that that every child is immunised and protected from diseases, and this is estimated to be achievable in the next three years.

Aceng noted that a drive in cold room is also being constructed at the National Medical Stores and will be commissioned in April this year. The facility is envisioned to ensure universal access of vaccines in every part of the country.

She cautioned that the equipment being launched should remain functional and be used for its intended purpose.

She thanked the government for placing emphasis on health programs such as immunisation campaigns in order to improve and protect the health of Ugandans.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry of health, Dr. Atwine Diana, remarked that the immunization transport and cold chain equipment will facilitate access to areas including those that are hard to reach. This will enable immunisation of all the children in the country and eliminate inequalities.

She said allocation of the equipment was based on detailed assessment of need with focus on infrastructural availability, newly created districts that lacked facilities, remote areas that are hard to reach such as the Islands among others.

The Deputy Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Uganda, Noreen Prendiville commended the government of Uganda for prioritizing the health sector and pledged to continue supporting the sector.

The commissioned equipment for immunisation will be used at health centre III hospitals and it includes, 996 solar fridges, 10 generators, solar panels, over 1000 cold boxes and 600 motorcycles.         Ends.