Uganda – The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has received an additional UGX360 million (US$100,000) from The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) to promote COVID-19 vaccination in the fight against COVID-19.
The additional funds will be used to finance numerous activities aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake such as Personal Protective Equipment procurement (PPEs).
The funds will also support COVID-19 response at vaccination sites, vaccine distribution, awareness efforts promoting vaccination and sanitary practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
In 2020, Coca-Cola Foundation donated UGX186million (US$52,000) to Red Cross towards Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activities and another UGX360 million (US$100,00) towards relief food packages during the peak of COVID-19 lockdown.
The US$52,000 donation funded the promotion of mandatory handwashing and supported Risk communication for COVID-19 with Uganda Red Cross Society as the implementing partner.
Moreover, Uganda Red Cross Society has been at the forefront of championing risk communication, community engagement and mobilization for COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.
The additional US$100,000 funding will further help Coca Cola’s commitment to strategically partner with Red Cross to avert the spread of COVID-19 in communities.
URCS Supply Chain Management Director Naphtal Baguma reaffirmed that Red Cross would aid the Ugandan Government to roll out the Community Engagement Strategy on COVID-19 since the economy has opened.
“The donated funds will go a long way in giving us a push to fulfil our mandate as part of securing the health of the people of Uganda through collaborative efforts towards increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake and acceptance,” acknowledged Naphtal Baguma.
Compliance to vaccine uptake not only saves lives but will also support the Ugandan economy to fully reopening and bounce back to pre-pandemic times.
International Organization for Migration partners Ugandan Health Ministry
Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has partnered with the Ministry of Health to support COVID-19 vaccination in Amuru and Kyotera districts in Uganda.
The international organization has donated a UGX 80 million (US$22,000) medicare package as part of the logistics and supply chain support that IOM has been providing to the Ugandan districts to support the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
The UGX 80 million (US$22,000) donation package includes vaccines storage equipment and supplies, refrigerators, advertising screens, COVID-19 vaccine carriers, cooler boxes and syringe disposal containers.
It included other supplies such laptops, plastic tables, plastic chairs, umbrellas, megaphones, hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment (PPEs).
The items were procured under an IOM Project funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to enhance equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination in Amuru and Kyotera districts specifically targeting vulnerable populations.
Despite vaccination being the best weapon against COVID-19, uptake has remained low due to myths and misconceptions as well as logistical challenges of getting vaccines to every community and eligible individual.
The Ministry of Health officials have also warned Ugandans against abandoning COVID-19 prevention measures since the pandemic is far from over.
“There has been an evident decline in the use of face masks, hand washing and sanitizers along with social distancing among other preventive measures especially following the full re-opening of the economy in January,” reports the health ministry.
The ministry has urged individuals to get vaccinated as it is a critical intervention to protect populations against adverse illness due to COVID-19 especially in combination with key behavioral interventions.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health has called on the government and development partners for increased investment in the health sectors not only to handle COVID-19 but to raise their readiness for any future outbreaks outbreak.