In an effort to boost Uganda’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Denmark has extended $1 million (R17 million) in additional financial aid to the government through the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, the grant is intended to procure additional testing kits to increase the capacity of laboratories at the national and regional level, particularly at border points. 

The funds will also be used to procure more personal protective equipment for frontline health workers.

“This contribution is intended to increase the number of people being tested and decrease congestion at the border points to ease tension in trade within the East African Community,” Danish ambassador to Uganda Nicolaj A. Hejberg Petersen said.

The country’s health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the money was a welcome donation.

“Uganda has a great need for testing kits and this grant comes as a boost to our testing capacity. The government of Uganda appreciates this support and steadfast partnership with the embassy of Denmark and WHO in the Covid-19 response,” Aceng said.

WHO representative in Uganda Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said fighting the coronavirus remained a priority and that the provision of support to procure laboratory supplies would go a long way in facilitating tests for truck drivers, communities and those in quarantine.

“I would like to affirm our commitment to a continued partnership with the embassy of Denmark and the government of Uganda and all partners in the control Covid-19 outbreak and other public health problems,” Woldemariam said.

Picture: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / Bloomberg

The East African country has 848 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but has to date not recorded any related fatalities.

-ANA, editing by Stella Mapenzauswa