By Simon Abaho
The French Government made a donation today that includes one million FFP2 face masks, fifty-four thousand six hundred antigenic testing kits, and nine Osiris3 respirators. We hope this token of solidarity will contribute to the government’s interventions against the new wave, said the French Ambassador Jules-Armand Aniambossou.
The Rt Hon Robinah Nabbanja thanked the Government and people of France for this generous donation of items that will help us in the fight against the Covid 19 pandemic.
She added “this contribution is further testimony of the long-standing solidarity between the French people and the people of Uganda. We deeply value the relationship between our two Governments and peoples.
As we say, a friend in need is a friend indeed. France has ably demonstrated this friendship in many ways and consistently over the years.
Let me, in a special way, thank you, your Excellency, for the efforts you personally put in to ensure that these items get delivered in time, and your Excellency, I request that you convey our gratitude back home, to your Government and people. she said
Jules-Armand AniambossouI said he is pleased to witness the handover of a new donation from the French government to the government of the Republic of Uganda. This is a new gesture of solidarity towards a friendly country in the fight against a common enemy, Covid-19.
My President has made several attempts to rally the international community in favour of the poorest countries, especially in Africa. At the G7 summit last February, Macron called on Europe and the developed countries to allocate 4 to 5% of their Covid-19 vaccine stocks to the Covax facility for the benefit of the poorest countries, especially Africa.
The French President also urged the pharmaceutical companies making Covid-19 vaccines to transfer technology abroad so as to accelerate global production while stressing the need for transparency and regulation of the pricing and castigating the tendency towards excess profits based on scarcity of the vaccine.
France supports cooperation with African institutions like the African CDC and the network of Institut Pasteur that are essential in identifying and containing the risks of variants.
The fight against Covid 19 is one that can only be won when the international community acts collectively and in solidarity. No one can be safe unless everyone is safe, because the world is now very connected through trade, travel and tourism. This Covid 19 has shown us that the pandemic doesn’t know or respect national boundaries, said Nabbanja
This support from France, therefore, is a welcome sign of solidarity and realization of this fact.
Rt Hon Nabbanja said “We would like to see more of this type of international solidarity even in the access to Covid 19 vaccines. We all know now, that vaccination is the most sure way to reduce the spread of the pandemic. It also prevents patients from presenting severe symptoms.”
Prime Minister Rt Hon Nabbanja thanked National Medical Stores for supporting the National Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic by receiving and warehousing PPEs, Test Kits, and other response supplies on behalf of Government and distributing them to points of entry and Hospitals across the country.
We are pleased with the supply chain competence at NMS which has enabled the country to mount an effective response to the pandemic and get the country to be ranked among the best at combating the pandemic.
But we continue to see a disparity in access to vaccines with developed countries vaccinating their people while developing countries are struggling to get vaccines.
Last month the Minister of Health, received 175 000 doses of vaccines that France donated to Uganda under the covax initiative.
Besides the vaccines, the French Embassy also supported Uganda’s response at a bilateral level. In June 2020, we supported the Ugandan army (UPDF) with alcohol-based hand sanitizers worth half a billion shillings. Last November, the Makerere University School of Public Health received 15,000 euros from the French Embassy to support the development of simple, rapid, low-cost Covid-19 diagnostic tests by a team of scientists led by Dr. Misaki Wayengera.
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