Government has reportedly allocated Shs5.76billion to procure face masks for final students who are set to resume studies this month.
According to President Yoweri Museveni’s latest address, candidate class students will resume their classes on 15th October.
While appearing before the budget committee chaired by Amos Lugolobi, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine said that they got a directive from the cabinet to provide face masks to students as they return to school.
Atwine was appearing before the committee to defend the Shs100bn supplementary request for the ministry of health to fund malaria, TB and HIV/AIDs related activities among others due to decline in donor funding for these disease control interventions.
"We received a directive from the president and cabinet that we procure additional face masks for the children who are going to school that is Shs5.76bn in addition to what was earlier on committed. So if we get the Shs24bn then we shall now be left with funding gap of Shs29.7bn on masks which also means we shall not be able to distribute them to the entire country as earlier planned,” Atwine said.
Currently, government has distributed face masks to only 71 districts across the country due to a budget shortfall of Shs29.7bn according to Dr. Atwine.
The committee further tasked the Permanent Secretary to explain the status of the Shs29.23bn fundraised by different organizations and individuals to fight COVID-19.
“That money (shs29.23bn) is there, it is on collection account and it still has to go through the supplementary process for it to be used. So we are waiting for it to be released then we spend it,” Atwine said.