Private health providers reach out to health ministry for Covid-19 vaccines – Independent

August 6, 2021 COVID-19 Updates, NEWS Leave a comment
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Private health providers want the Ministry of Health to purchase COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers on their behalf.
This comes amidst a rush for vaccines as it is being mooted as the only game-changer towards the fight against COVID-19 that will save the country from the feared third wave that projections by the National Planning Authority (NPA) show is only weeks away.
Grace Kiwanuka, the Executive Director of Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) says that they have also asked the ministry to allow them to store the vaccines at the National Medical Stores (NMS) considering that many private providers cannot safely store these medicines.
According to the predictions, if the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are not followed, within 28 days new cases will average at about 500 cases per day with a weekly average of around 2,000, yet recently with the lockdown, cases had fallen to less than 200 each day.
For instance, according to the latest results from tests done on the 3rd of August, only 165 people tested positive from 3,649 tests conducted.
Kiwanuka explains that they chose this path considering the fact government and entities like the COVAX facility have better bargaining power and can access the much sought after vaccines easily.
As a result of fear of the anticipated spike, the Ministry of Health is seeking more than 9 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured through the pool purchasing entity of the African Union to enable them to get more of their targeted 21.9 million Ugandans vaccinated.
So far, the country has vaccinated less than a 1.2 million people where the majority have only had the first dose.
Kiwanuka says the reason the federation is pushing for involvement is to help the country quickly reach considerable vaccination levels such that people are guaranteed protection against severe disease with the coming waves.
She says already three members of the Federation have expressed interest in procuring the vaccines whereas some others have gone through the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda.
Kathryn Lindoha Musoke, the Public Relations Manager says that by Thursday morning, companies including Coca Cola, Uganda Breweries, Safe Boda and the business community under Kampala City Traders Association had expressed interest in participating in the pooled procurement of the vaccines.
Dr Timothy Musila, an Assistant Commissioner in charge of Public-Private Partnerships says they have come up with a framework to guide them on how to safely and effectively access the drug.
However, the ministry has been slow in admitting private providers into the vaccination programme with fears of counterfeiting the drug by unscrupulous dealers.
At a recent COVID-19 update to the nation, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said vaccine manufacturers are reluctant to deal with private agents but added that they were talking to the medical councils to finalize on the modalities to do with regulating the pricing of vaccines once the private providers are allowed.
For now, according to Kiwanuka, the only thing holding them now is the access hurdles on the global scene since manufacturers have only a limited number of doses that too have been pre-ordered.
Like the government, private providers are also looking at procuring AstraZeneca jabs.
Meanwhile, the country is also waiting to receive some 640,000 Pfizer doses donations from the United States this month.
August 6, 2021
August 6, 2021
August 6, 2021
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