Kampala, May 22, 2020 – On May 20, Secretary of State Pompeo announced that the American people made a commitment of an additional USD 162 million for the global COVID-19 response, bringing the total to date to more than USD 1 billion since the outbreak began.
The U.S. Mission in Uganda has provided both technical assistance and more than USD 15 million (UGX 56 Billion) in funding to meet the urgent needs of Uganda’s COVID-19 response. This assistance has been spread across many parts of the health sector to directly support the COVID-19 response as well as to assist the broader health sector in continuing its regular service delivery with the goal of enabling Uganda’s overall health system to maintain stability despite the challenges of COVID-19.
For decades, the U.S. Mission has invested significantly in the country’s health sector, including systems strengthening and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious diseases. U.S. government support to Uganda’s health sector over the years played a key role in preparing the Ugandan government to effectively respond to COVID-19.
In addition to the support highlighted in our April 1 press release, which continues, we are pleased to announce the following support, which represents a portion of the USD 15 million we have provided:
The U.S. government has redirected and reprogrammed more than USD 2.8 million to address general needs of the COVID-19 response including personnel, additional supplies, and technological equipment to support the surge capacity of Uganda’s Emergency Operation Center.
The U.S has contributed more than USD 600,000 of additional funding to ensure nationwide upgrades to electronic data systems and establish a National Health Information Exchange to link electronic systems for enhanced COVID-19 case management and expanded surveillance.
The U.S. government has contributed an additional USD 540,000 to provide and train surge capacity laboratory staff, expand the severe acute respiratory illness sentinel surveillance network, and complete performance evaluations for new COVID-19 test kits.
To ensure that vital HIV services continue in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government redirected USD 650,000 through our Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services (RHITES) programs for training and orientation of facility and community-based health workers on Ministry of Health guidelines, training curricula, and standard operating procedures.
The U.S Embassy in Uganda said that they are committed to stopping COVID-19 at Uganda’s borders through technical assistance and have provided an additional USD 210,000 to build the new Border Health Authority, including the creation of training protocols for border screening personnel, the creation of the National Border Health Plan, and the training of health, lab, and security personnel at borders for screening operations.
The embassy noted that it had allocated nearly USD 1.3 million of additional humanitarian assistance to support UNHCR’s COVID-19 response for refugees and host communities.
It believes that Uganda’s most vulnerable people must be protected, and have redirected USD 220,000 of funding to enhance child protection services, in addition to the technical assistance we provided that resulted in the re-opening of the Uganda Child Helpline (116), retaining this critical channel for comprehensive response services for child victims of violence.
Through existing platforms supported by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S government continues to support the COVID-19 response through existing systems such as the laboratory hubs and sample transportation network, national labs such as Central Public Health laboratory and Uganda Virus Research Institute, and support to community surveillance through public health fellows. The U.S. government is also supporting the key role of Regional Referral Hospitals and district leadership structures.
The Embassy noted that the U.S remains committed to partnering with Uganda to continue the hard work and support that is needed to fight this disease.