Get vaccinated so we can open the economy – says Health Minister Dr. Aceng


 Heath Minister Dr  Jane Ruth Aceng has  urged Ugandans to turn up in large numbers and get vaccinated  to avoid another lockdown and to push government to open the economy which was closed close to two years ago when the deadly Covid -19 pandemic wrecked havoc across the globe .

Dr. Aceng who doubles as Lira city Woman Member of Parliament  encouraged Ugandans to vaccinate and sured the country that the vaccines that are being administered are safe .
“I know there are so many myths about the vaccines but some of us have been vaccinated and we have not died,” the minister said.

According to Dr. Aceng, Teso, Kampala, Lango and Acholi sub regions have continued to register an increase in Covid-19 cases, and asked the director Lira Regional Referral Hospital to prepare the tents at former Akiibua stadium to admit patients in case the numbers surge.

Soroti is currently admitting 60 Covid-19 patients, the highest in the country according to Dr. Aceng.  She was speaking at Lira Regional Referral Hospital during the handover of 40 oxygen cylinders by Absa bank, a bank with the spirit of Africa city!

Dr. Aceng commended Absa for her kind gesture, saying the oxygen cylinders are of great importance in saving lives.  She however regretted to note that  cylinders are being stolen across the country especially by welders and called for engravement of the equipment to protect it from thieves.

Watua Peter, Regional bank manager for Absa Northern region in his address said Jinja, Soroti, Gulu and Lira regional referral hospitals were chosen to benefit from the oxygen cylinders.
“This is the bank’s  commitment towards serving the people and ensuring their health,” he added.

Managing director Absa Bank Uganda, Mumba  Kalifungwa thanked   Lira Regional Referral Hospital Treatment Center for fighting the second wave of Covid-19, and said the efforts of the medical workers cannot go unnoticed.

He said the 40 medical oxygen cylinders are part of the 160 committed to the health ministry and procured from the Oxylife 202 Limited of Joint Medical Stores (JMS).

He said Absa will refill and repair the cylinders, adding that during the first wave of Covid-19, Absa donated epic tents and personal protective equipment to the health ministry.

Dr. Steven Obbo, the Lira Regional referral hospital director  lauded the brave and the courageous medics who labored tirelessly to rescue the lives of Covid-19 patients Dr. Obbo said to date the Lira Covid-19 treatment center has registered a total of 1,314 positive cases. There were 594 admissions at the facility while 724 cases were placed under home based care management.

The director also said the facility also delivered 9 mothers who were admitted at the facility while there were 81 deaths registered.

Currently, Dr. Obbo says Lira Regional Referral hospital treatment center has a 30 bed capacity; 17 active Covid-19 cases that are being managed at the treatment center and 71 being managed from their homes.

“There is a significant progress in the Covid-19 vaccination with 5400 people so far given the first jab and 2583 have had their second jabs,” he revealed, Thursday.

He also told the minister that over 90% of the hospital staff have taken Covid-19 jabs. “We have assembled 8 intensive care unit beds at the ICU department and another four at the treatment center.”

the hhospital has an ambulance service that has started in Lango and being managed at the LRRH to pick up patients from across districts in the region.

“This donation is timely and it will boost our capacity to manage patients on oxygen,” Dr. Obbo told Absa officials. He says the oxygen consumption at the hospital currently stands at 60 cylinders per day and yet the capacity that was installed only caters for 30 cylinders.

According to him, the hospital needs a new oxygen plant that can fill up  over a hundred cylinders per day.

“We also pray for a much better laboratory to boost our capacity to investigate cases so it can serve not only as a district hospital but for the entire region,” he asked.

Lawrence Egole the  Resident City Commissioner, Lira said  that 79% of the teachers have taken their jabs. “It is a good move as government plans to reopen schools.”

“I want to thank you minster, because for over two years your ministry stood firm like a tree planted by the Riverside,” Egole lauded Dr. Aceng.

The minister appealed to health workers to get vaccinated for their safety and for that of the patients.

“As a health ministry, we are soon starting an intervention where if you are not vaccinated don’t come to us, we shall also not come to you and we shall not pay your salary because we shall not allow you to infect us,” Dr. Aceng warned.

“I have been told that there are heath workers who discouraged the population about getting vaccinated. If you have your fear encourage the population to get vaccinated,” the minister told nurses.

She also disclosed that Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured by government of Uganda through the covax facility have arrived in the country .

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