United States Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown visited Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) headquarters to launch a $1.6 million (nearly UGX 6 billion) grant, representing the first-year of funding of a five-year partnership between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and KCCA to improve health services in the Kampala City Metropolitan area.
The project will improve access to HIV and TB services and focus on specific health challenges faced by the urban poor like recurrent cholera and typhoid outbreaks. Almost 20 percent of people living with HIV in Uganda reside in the Kampala metropolitan area.
The project will also strengthen the capacity of the KCCA health team to plan, monitor, and prevent urban health issues. Since 2010, CDC has been supporting KCCA through the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) to implement comprehensive HIV and TB services in six high-volume public health facilities as well as supporting services in private not-for-profit and for-profit facilities and centers of excellence. This grant will also support the KCCA health team to provide leadership and oversight of the health sector, both public and private, in this region.
After launching the CDC-KCCA project, Ambassador Brown visited a nearby U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supported vaccination site to speak with health workers and Kampala residents who came out to receive COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States.
“I am pleased to see that the more than 1.6 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the United States are being used at 58 vaccination sites throughout Kampala as part of our comprehensive effort to combat COVID-19 and save Ugandan lives,” Ambassador Brown said, thanking the front-line health workers administering the jab and community mobilizers who have been providing accurate information about COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness.
In September, the United States delivered a total of 2,321,350 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Uganda. The vaccine is being rolled out at 58 outreach sites in Kampala, Mukono, and Wakiso.
“Today, several Kampala residents I spoke with told me why it was important for them to get vaccinated and why they think others should take COVID-19 seriously and get the jab too. I encourage everyone who is eligible to take that important step toward protecting your health and the health of your community,” Brown said. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and one of the best tools we have in reducing unnecessary illnesses and deaths.”
The United States has committed to donating 1.1 billion Pfizer doses worldwide and is the leading financial donor to the COVAX facility that also is providing COVID-19 vaccines to Uganda and many other countries. In Uganda, since the pandemic began, the United States has provided assistance valued at $111 million (nearly UGX 400 billion) to support Uganda’s COVID-19 response.