Government through the Ministry of Health is seeking an additional Shs465.8bn funding to fight the spread of COVID-19 pandemic for the next six months.
Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the Minister of State for Primary Health Care tabled the request before Parliament’s Government Assurance Committee today.
Moriku told Committee members that the Ministry wants Shs4.7bn to maintain the 386 health workers that were recently hired to handle the coronavirus related cases for the next six months. She explained that funds weren’t provided in the 2020/2021 national budget.
The team comprises of; 40 epidemiologists, 23 medical officers, 73 medical officers, 4 anesthetic officers, 70 nurses, 64 assistant nurses, 9 enrolled nurses, 3 enrolled midwives, 5 psychiatric clinical officers, 15 laboratory technicians, 20 ambulance assistants, 10 drivers and 50 call center agents.
The Minister said that at the moment, Shs2.44bn will pay the team’s salary.
“Based on the current situation, there is need to maintain these health workers for a minimum of another 6 months up to December 2020. Shs4.734bn will be required,” Moriku said, adding: “Most of these are occupying vacant positions in regional referral hospitals and are recommended for absorption into mainstream.”
The Ministry of Health is also wants Shs100.3bn for procurement of personal protective equipment.
The Minister revealed that if items are procured they will be critical at boosting the efficiency of the 109 ICU beds that will be installed at the Regional Referral hospitals by 15th August.
She added that oxygen plants shall be fully installed by 30th August 2020.
Government is also expected procure 38 road and boat Ambulances by September if the Ministry is given Shs240.5bn.
Part of this money will be used to buy test kits and laboratory consumables for the next six months.
The Ministry of Health also revealed that Shs4.213bn was spent on COVID-19 case management including provision of meals, accommodation and hardship allowances to the medics.
However, MPs want Ministry of Health to avail Parliament with a list of all health workers undertaking activities of COVID-19 and showing where they are deployed in the country.
It should be noted that Parliament in April passed Shs304bn supplementary budget to fight the Covid-19 pandemic