The Rt Honorable Prime Minister and the Chairperson of the COVID-19 National Task Force, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has called upon Ugandans to welcome and implement the “Tugobe Corona-Wear a Mask” Campaign, which was launched and implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) in collaboration with other organizations like Safe Boda, Mastercard Foundation, Public Relations Association of Uganda and Quality Services.
“To efficiently defeat Corona and successfully kick it out of Uganda, all of us must be involved it the fight because it is everyone’s responsibility to care for their lives for the better development of Uganda,” Rugunda said.
Dr. Rugunda made these remarks while receiving Personal Protection Equipment donated by the PSFU in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala on Wednesday October 28.
“We recently launched the Community Engagement for Sustainable COVID-19 prevention and I am sure with the implementation of the PSFU’s campaign, we shall be on-course in fighting the pandemic,” he said.
Speaking at this scientific function, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, urged Ugandans to not only put on their masks but also endeavor to wear them properly.
“Right now we are in phase four of this pandemic. Phase four means we have a lot of community transmission and we are running out of the testing kits. That is why we are now testing only those people who have symptoms. The infection is there and you need to protect yourselves,” she noted.
“Many Ugandans have forgotten about the pandemic and moved on, I want to remind everyone that we now have more than 11,000 cases and over 100 deaths therefore proper wearing of a mask must be embraced by everybody,” Dr. Aceng added.
She further addressed the negative impact of the lockdown on both the individual and national level and urged the public to comply with the set Standard Operating Procedures.
“Everyone must be healthy so that we achieve our economic growth. Currently I have enough patients and I don’t need more, I want productive labour, consumers and so on. All this will be achieved if we work together. Your staying in self quarantine at home will affect me more than you because the economy will be losing its labour,” she said.
PSFU in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation through the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program (CERRRP) handed over PPEs to the Prime Minister and the Health Ministry.
These equipment included; 1300 gun thermometers, 2000 Face Shields, 2000 Protective suits and 100,000 face masks that will be used in fighting against the wide spread of COVID-19.
Allan Ssenondwa, the manager of the Mastercard Foundation noted that a total of items worth Shs 6bn will be given to the Government starting with this assortment.
He noted that other items like; 1000 hospital beds with their mattresses and bed sheets and 45000 COVID-19 testing kits will be given to the government in the next arrangement.
Gedeon Bagadawa, the Executive Director of PSFU said, “We used a persuasive way of telling people to wear their masks through the 250 youth we recruited and have succeeded because we have now achieved over 80% after our one month, we shall leave the rest to the government to implement the law on wearing of masks.”
Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman of the Board of PSFU noted that, “We believe that this Tugobe Corona campaign, which has reached thousands of people in Kampala, together with the PPEs handed over to the National COVID-19 Task Force will support Government efforts towards the fight against the speed of COVID-19 on our communities,”
He added, “As the apex body of private sector, we are committed to ensuring that all our business people stay health to be able to run sustainable businesses. Prevention through wearing a mask will ultimately stop the spread of the pandemic.”
Samuel Yalew Adela, the MasterCard Country Head said that preventive measures against Covid-19 may for the most time appear mundane but adherence and compliance has remained a major challenge, exacerbated by ignorance in some parts of the society.