KAMPALA – While addressing the nation last week, President Yoweri Museveni is said to have lashed out at Ugandans for refusing to extend gratitude to NRM for immunising them against killer diseases, but instead turned it their hobby to criticise his Government.
“The NRM has protected Ugandans in health by immunising them, protected them from war and terrorism. but now no one cares,” the President remarked.
However, Museveni’s remarks seem to have come back to haunt him following revelation by United States Mission in Uganda, which seem to paint a picture that the Fountain of Honour was peddling fake news.
T his morning, the Mission took to its official Twitter handle announcing the trillions United States has been injecting in Uganda’s health sector, with the World Power claiming a huge share in immunising Ugandan children.
Under the hashtag; #HandsinHandWithUganda, the Mission wrote that the nation has injected a tune of USD501M in Uganda’s health sector, which amounts to Shs1.8Trn: “In 2017, U.S. assistance helped immunize more than 1.5 million Ugandan children.”
Ugandans who have been nursing wounds and bruised egos following Museveni’s immunisation remarks pounced on the information, demanding clarification from Government to substantiate on the figures availed by the US Mission.
One Twitter user, Gerald Mawanda noted:
“Museveni recently boasted that his 32+ years old government has immunized Ugandans and they should be grateful to him, for it. It turns out, it’s the Americans immunizing Ugandan children. What is Museveni, without the US?’
Another muzukulu argued that the money invested by the Super Power is too much and wondered why Uganda doesn’t have enough drugs in hospitals questioning if all spent on immunization?
A one Kihika thanked the Mission for the ‘generosity’ and questioned if the money was in form of a loan or donation, “We need more such info from across development partners,” he asked.
Vincent Kizza wrote: “Thank you so much for the big American heart.”
The US Mission’s revelation left one twitter user by the names of Omugishu with more questions than answers, “Why are foreigners trying to interfere with Uganda healthy system? Our beloved President said NRM immunised us the Bazzukulu. Did he lie? or they are the ones lying?’
The development comes at a time when a report by the 26 member Health Committee of Parliament on the 2018/2019 Ministerial Policy Statement and Budget estimates alluded to risks Uganda’s health sector stands due to dependency on foreign funding.
The Committee warned in May that the dependency on external financing puts lives of Ugandans at risk in the event the donors withdrew the funding.
The Health Committee highlighted that in the 2018/2019 budget allocations donor funds would account for 45% while Government will meet the other 55% of the budget for the Ministry of Health.
The report further noted that 73.2% of the external financing is earmarked for HIV, TB and Malaria, with MPs arguing that these should have been priority for Government, with the report highlighting: “This overdependence exposes lives of Ugandan to high health risk in the event that donors withdrew their support,” the report highlighted.
According to the report, whereas a number of donor-financed projects require counter-part funding to the tune of Shs64bn only Shs26bn has been earmarked in the next financial year.
The MPs cautioned that the financing gap will result in delayed disbursements of donor funds, leading to delays in project implementation as well as budget absorption challenges as has been the case in the previous years.