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Over 60,000 People Miss Out on Gov’t Face Masks in Amuru

Amuru is listed as one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the country due to its proximity to the Uganda – South Sudan border. Up to 125 positive cases of COVID-19 have been intercepted in Elegu Town Council in Amuru district since March 2020.
22 Jul 2020 13:02
Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister for Primary Health Care dresses up Kilak South MP Gilbert Olanya with government mask in Amuru District - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 2

More than 60,000 people have missed out on the  free government face masks that were distributed to curb the transmission of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Amuru is listed as one of the COVID-19 hotspots in the country due to its proximity to the Uganda – South Sudan border. Up to 125 positive cases of COVID-19 have been intercepted in Elegu Town Council in Amuru district since March, 2020.  Of those, 67 were truck drivers, 57 community members including security personnel and four individuals who sneaked through the porous border entry points.

The district is estimated to have a population of 240,000 people. But last month, the Ministry of Health dispatched 171, 444 masks to the area under a government initiative to distribute masks to all nationals, starting with the border points.

Amuru Resident District Commissioner Geoffrey Oceng Osborn says that the supplied masks were inadequate for the population. He added that due to resource constraints, they distributed face masks to the beneficiaries through Local Council structures aided by the in-charge of lower health facilities in the different parishes.

//Cue in; “We received… 

Cue out…to embrace this.’’//

He further explained that the task force has already written to the Ministry of Health soliciting for additional face masks considering the vulnerability of the District which is at the epicentre of the infectious contagion.

The District Health Officer Dr Patrick Odong Olwedo acknowledged that there is a shortage of face masks and added that they have advised some residents to purchase and improvise the masks as they wait for more supply from the government.

//Cue in; “We have distributed…

Cue out…in the district.’’//

State Minister for Primary Healthcare Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu rallied the District leaders to intensify the risk communication and community engagement to encourage regular handwashing and social distancing rules to interrupt the cycles of further infections.