The Ministry of Health has received immunization and transport equipment worth Shs33bn procured by World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) with support from The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Alliance (GAVI).
The equipment include; 657 motorcycles, 996 solar fridges, 10 generators, vaccine carriers and cold boxes. The motorcycles will mainly be used for the distribution of vaccines and will be allocated to Health Centre IIIs.
According to the ministry, ten generators will be allocated to District National Medical Stores and 1 generator will be allocated to the Central National Medical Store. The vaccine carriers are over 5000 and the cold boxes are over 1000. The equipment will be used by health facilities across the country to support immunization programs.
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda who commissioned the immunization transport and cold chain equipment that will be used to strengthen disease prevention in Uganda urged district officials to “Ensure that there is proper utilization of these facilities. The motorcycles are meant for immunization please do not take them for boda boda and other things because that will cause us problems we will fight to ensure that they remain on course to help our children be immunized.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng appealed to the districts not to take the equipment given to them for granted. “Whenever we provide for them, there’s excitement and then one month down the road, the equipment are packed and are no longer in use. We are providing money under Immunization Systems Support to the districts but also under Primary Health Care to ensure that the equipment remains functional and that they do the work that it is intended to do.’
The allocation of the assets to districts was informed by a number of field assessments that included whether; the district benefited had from the Gavi HSS grant I, availability and current state of equipment in the districts, new districts formed before 2018/19, underserved areas and obsolete fridges technologies.