Uganda’s Tuberculosis Ambassador, Moses Ssali, best known by his stage name Bebe Cool, has secured nearly Shs 1.5bn to eradicate the killer disease in the country.
Bebe, who started a voluntary initiative to save mainly children suffering the costly disease before his appointment as Tuberculosis Ambassador, got the USD$398,344 from Vietnam.
“I am happy to inform you that I officially received a grant of close to $400,000 USD from Stop TB Partnership’s TB REACH initiative at a ceremony that took place in Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam,” said Bebe Cool in a statement on social media.
REACH is a multi-lateral funding mechanism primarily supported by Global Affairs Canada, with additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency
The singer attracted the funding through his recently founded non profit organization, The Amber Heart Foundation, to support activities aimed at finding TB patients within the districts of Kampala, Jinja and Mbarara, and committing to treatment.
Bebe said the fresh Amber Heart Foundation beat over 600 applications from pioneer organizations, to get the grant.
“This grant is a result of a vigorous application exercise that saw The Amber Heart Foundation triumph over 600 applications that had to be chosen from all over the world.”
“This is a great boost to my charity efforts. While for years I have been undertaking different charity works at my personal expense, it feels great when someone else recognizes such efforts and decides to chip in. This is a great boost for our health care system,” he noted.
Statistics show that 80,000 Ugandans succumb to Tuberculosis every year yet this disease is treatable in all government facilities for free.
The Amber Heart Foundation has planned to use the grant to feel the gap of awareness and mobilization of people for testing and treatment since many people don’t know the symptoms.
Bebe was last year appointed Uganda’s Tuberculosis Ambassador after engaging in many charitable activities under Amber Heart Foundation.
Last year he donated over Shs 60m from the proceeds generated from a special concert organized towards facilitating treatment of children with Heart defects.