In the letter dated September 14 addressed to the District Health Officer, Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo, the RDC directed immediate vaccination of the cyclists in an effort aimed at curbing Covid-19 in the area.
Amuru COVID-19 Task Force has resolved to divert part of the
Covid-19 vaccine doses meant for teachers to vaccinate Boda-Boda cyclists in the
This follows a directive by the Resident District Commissioner Geoffrey Oceng
Osborn to the health department to vaccinate the riders who are considered
frontline public service persons.
In the letter dated September 14 addressed to the District Health
Officer, Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo, the RDC directed immediate vaccination of the
cyclists in an effort aimed at curbing Covid-19 in the country.
“As you are aware the boda-boda cyclists are the frontline public
service persons that need to be protected against the virus as a mitigation
measure to contain a rapid spread of the disease from one end-user client to
another,” Oceng’s letter reads in part.
Dr Olwedo who doubles as the Secretary to the Task Force confirmed
receipt of the directive.
He explained that they are considering using part of the 914 doses
of the vaccine supplied by the Ministry of Health to vaccinate 300 cyclists.
According to Dr Olwedo, available statistics compiled by the health department
indicates that 438 teachers in the district have completed their first and
second mandatory dozes of the Covid-19 vaccination.
//Cue in..."We will implement….”
Cue out… first doses are 476.”//
Paul Nyeko, the Chairperson of Atiak Town Council Boda-Boda Association
expressed fear about the enforcement as the majority of the cyclists have very
negative attitudes toward the vaccine due to myths.
//Cue in..."Ingeyo boda-boda….”
Cue out… ettii mede cenne.”//
"You boda-boda riders are scared that the vaccine is being administered to
kill people. Unless you impound their motorcycles to coerce them to vaccinate,
none of them will turn up for the exercise as they prefer to be on the road and
Other cyclists argue that the RDC wants to be recognized for
working hard even when the decisions he is taking is hurting ordinary citizens
because there is a need to respect the health and privacy of the people.
The cyclists have become the second mass of workers to face the
RDC’s directive. In April, Oceng issued a similar directive to the DHO to
vaccinate all the 486 health workers and whoever declined was to be barred from
accessing the workplace.
The government through the Ministry of Health is administering free vaccination
targeting health workers in public and private health facilities who by the
nature of their work are at higher risk of contracting the disease.
Other target groups in order of priority include the security
personnel; teachers; humanitarian front-line workers, people above 50 years
with underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart, kidney, or
liver disease; people aged 18-50.