IOM Bolsters Efforts to Fight COVID-19


September 06, 2021

By Innocent Vuga

The Government of Uganda has received an assortment of essential medical supplies and computers from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in support of efforts to fight COVID-19 under the EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme.

IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Sanusi Tejan Savage presented the consignment, worth UGX 662.7 Million (nearly EUR 160,000), to the minister of State for Health (General Duties), Hon. Anifa Bangirana Kawooya.

The donation included a fridge, COVID-19 test kits and reagents; personal protective equipment (PPEs) encompassing 1200 boxes of rubber gloves and 4,000 masks; infection prevention and control items such as sanitizer, soap, disinfectants and thermometers; as well as two computers.

The items were procured by a European Union-funded programme working to mitigate the health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region.

The regional programme is managed by UNOPS and implemented by several agencies, including IOM, IGAD, UNICEF and TMEA (TradeMark East Africa). The digital health solutions component of this programme is co-funded by the German Government and independently managed and implemented by GIZ. The programme is being implemented in 7 countries across the IGAD region - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. In Uganda, IOM is co-implementing the programme in the northern districts of Adjumani and Amuru.

The supplies will support the testing of healthcare workers and frontline responders by the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) and Adjumani Hospital, and Port Health and Bibia Health Centre III in Amuru district.

Mr Savage said the programme is supporting the government’s COVID-19 response plan in areas with mobile populations including border communities and districts.

“IOM aims at supporting government and communities to prevent, detect and respond to health threats along the mobility continuum in this COVID-19,” he said.             Minister Anifa Kawooya flags off the supplies

The EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme is also supporting surveillance at points of entry by funding the salaries of health workers and screeners, Mr Savage said, adding that the rehabilitation of Bibia Health Centre III was aimed at enhancing its capacity to respond to health emergencies and support the roll-out of essential services.

The handover was also attended by the Director General of Health Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa, senior ministry officials, and leaders from Amuru and Adjumani districts.

State Minister Kawooya described the donation as timely, as it was coming when the country was anticipating a third wave of the pandemic.

“Uganda has managed to contain the widespread transmission of COVID-19 among communities and minimized morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19.” She said. “From what we are sensing out, wave three is soon catching up with us.”

Uganda has not been spared from the effects of the second wave of COVID-19 which strained the healthcare system.  To date the country has registered more than 119,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 2,968 deaths, and over 95,000 recoveries.