By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
Uganda plans to vaccinate 60% of its population in three phases, each phase targeting 20% of the population equivalent to 9 million people, starting with persons at high risk of contracting the disease.Hon Judith Nabakooba, Minister of ICT and National Guidance
Uganda has recorded a significant reduction in the number of new COVID19 cases and related deaths. This was observed in the February 15 Cabinet meeting, sitting at State House Entebbe.
The revelation has Thursday been made by the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Judith Nabakooba while addressing reporters at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
“Cabinet noted that from mid-January, 2021 there has been a progressive decline in the number of new confirmed Cases of the Coronavirus, alongside a reduction in the number of hospitalized Cases in our COVID-19 treatment facilities and a concomitant reduction in number of deaths,” noted the Minister.
On February 16, the country recorded only 13 new COVID19 cases bringing the cumulative confirmed cases of Ugandans to 40,102 and 14,569 recoveries. Only 331 Ugandans have succumbed to the virus.
Meanwhile, during today’s press briefing, Nabakooba revealed that the Ministry of Health has finalized the National COVID-19 vaccination plan and is finalizing the training guide for District Health Teams and Health Workers to facilitate them in making District Specific Plans, noting that the vaccination will be done in three phases.
“Uganda plans to vaccinate 60% of its population in three phases, each phase targeting 20% of the population equivalent to 9 million people, starting with persons at high risk of contracting the disease by nature of their work or are vulnerable to severe disease and or death such as persons aged 50 years above, persons aged below 50 with comorbidities, Teachers, Security Personnel in UPDF, Police and Prisons; Health workers in Public and Private facilities,” said the Minister.
Nabakooba also said that on Monday 25th January 25, Cabinet directed the Ministry of Health to place an order for COVID-19 vaccines to cover vulnerable people estimated to be 20% of Ugandan population (9 million people) and the order has since been placed with the Serum Institute of India for 18,000,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to commence phase 1 of the vaccination exercise against COVID-19.
As such, Uganda has put out a total order for 36,000,000 million doses with 18 million doses got through direct purchase by Government of Uganda and another 18 million doses expected through donations from the COVAX facility.
On identifying individuals to be vaccinated in the different phases, she said the Ministry of Health is currently working with teams from the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), and Makerere University to make use of the National Registration Data to ensure that target groups are reached and they complete the recommended doses.