The Ministry of Health has spent Shs23bn of the COVID-19 donations funds to purchase double cabin trucks, a decision that has angered a number of Ugandans.
The Ministry took to its official twitter handle today revealing that part of the money collected in donations was used to purchase pickup trucks amidst complaints from health facilities of lack of medicines and Personal Protective Equipment for medical workers treating COVID-19 patients.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, Spokesperson Ministry of Health took to his twitter showing images of what he claimed were part of the 282 double Cabin pickups from Toyota bought using the Shs23.9bn out of the Shs29Bn donated by the public for COVID-19 support.
He noted that all the procurement processes are underway for the expenditure of the remaining balance stating, “Shipping for more pick-ups is underway. Currently undergoing registration and will be given to all districts soon. The balance of the Shs29 billion donated by the public towards COVID-19 support of which Shs3.3 Billion will construct blood bank at Soroti RRH and Shs2.4Bn will construct Port Health facilities at Cyanika and Vurra.
The decision by Government to inject 80% of the Covid-19 donations on purchase of pickups, angered many Ugandans who pointed out that many medical workers are struggling to get access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and hospitals have no medicines to treat COVID-19 covid patients.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported that Uganda had registered 406 and 46 new deaths bringing the cumulative cases to 89,080 case and 2,249 deaths.
A section of Ugandans reacted angrily at the decision by Health Ministry, like Don Nzamya who wrote, “We need ambulances, health workers are complaining about low pay and poor working conditions, low on oxygen and limited beds. Are pickups really the best you could do? Mukyisusa namwe,“
He was backed by Ronnie Naddie who directed his anger towards Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health writing, “Instead of procuring us vaccines here you are buying double cabins. Diana Atwine can you be transported in a double cabin when you are seriously ill? At least ambulances would be a better option. You have failed this nation Diana Atwine.”
Kosta Sekirime couldn’t hide his anger asking, “What should we dial for more jokes? Sometimes we laugh instead of getting pissed”
Another twitter user Tasha Barigye expressed shock at Ministry of Health’s choice of priorities noting, “Wow….instead of purchasing more of the vaccines and helping people out in this period you’re busy buying cars. Get serious.”
Rogers Kiseka tried to put matters into perspective asking, “Okay. How many vaccine doses are those? So many Government of Uganda are grounded at district level due to poor maintenance and improper handling by users – perhaps part of that money should have been committed to repairs and address other urgent health center needs.”