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Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng

Key Takeaways from Minister Aceng's Address on Covid-19 Containment

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government procured 116 ambulances (111 type B ambulances, 5 type C of which 3 are boat ambulances) to augment the existing fleet of 178 ambulances.
posted onJuly 27, 2021
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Ahead of President Museveni's national address on Saturday, Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng delivered her 24th update on what the government is doing to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Below is what we took away.

As of today, the country has registered 92,795 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19, 78,415 recoveries, and 2,590 have succumbed to the disease. 
 
Currently, there are 677 patients admitted in various health facilities, 631 in public facilities and 46 in private facilities.
 
Of all the confirmed cases, 51,868 representing 56%, have happened in a duration of 4 months of the resurgence.

Currently, 295 cases are recorded per day on average as opposed to the 1,735-peak seen on June 10 before the lockdown was imposed on June 18.

The highest number of daily hospital admission for severe and critically ill patients was 204 on June 20. Since then the average has been 50.

Pressure on bed space has now eased and the positivity rate has dropped from 21% to 10% in the past 10 days.

The ministry, in two rounds, distributed PPEs to all districts and regional referral hospitals during the lockdown.

Districts, municipalities and cities received financial support to enforce presidential directives on containing the spread of the virus.

The Ministry of Health conducted in-service training for 301 nurses in critical care. These were deployed to various COVID-19 Treatment Units (CTUs) - both in public and private facilities.

An additional 100 nurses are undergoing training which will be completed in August 2021.
 
Further to this, the Ministry has begun re-skilling 180 existing health workers (Doctors and specialists both in private and public facilities) in oxygen titration, oxygen management, management of the critically ill and Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) to bridge the gap in 
Intensive Care management.
 
In the short term, oxygen supply is being supplemented from manufacturing plants certified by National Drug Authority (NDA) to supply medical oxygen.
 
In the long term, the Government has begun procuring 3 cryogenic (liquid) oxygen plants to be installed in 3 regions and additional Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) plants (Gaseous Oxygen plants) to supplement the existing ones at National and Regional Hospitals.

The country is still unable to access adequate vaccines in spite of availability of funds.

The government of Uganda's strategy is mass vaccination of the eligible population (22 million representing 49.8%) as a means of optimal control of the pandemic and full opening up of the economy.

The government is doing all it can to access vaccines for the eligible population 18 years and above.
 
In addition, consideration will be given to children aged 12-15 years with comorbidities.
 
The Ministry of Health has generated a priority list of COVID 19 vaccines that can be used in the country and they include: AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer BioNTech, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Moderna Sputnik V and Sputnik Lite.

Apart from Moderna and Sputnik, emergency use of the rest have been authorized by National Drug Authority.

Vaccines are being secured through the Covax facility, African Union, manufacturers and donations.

Uganda has already placed an order 9 million doses through COVAX and it's awaiting feedback on availability.

Another order of 2 million has been made through Johnson and Johnson through AU with a down payment of $3 million.

Embassies have also been ordered to search for available vaccines on the market.

Organizations have also been permitted to procure vaccines and vaccinate their staff after approval from National Medical Stores.

The government has adopted a model of National Ambulance Service that is regionally coordinated and covers 14 regions based on referral hospitals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government procured 116 ambulances (111 type B ambulances, 5 type C of which 3 are boat ambulances) to augment the existing fleet of 178 ambulances.

These ambulances were distributed to all regions of Uganda while the 3 boat ambulances were placed in the islands of Kalangala, Buvuma and Lake Kyoga.

These ambulances are being used to transport both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients to the health facilities.

In addition, 11 more boat ambulances and 6 type B road ambulances have been procured and are expected in the country soon.

Government continues to work with partners to acquire more ambulances.

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