KAMPALA – State Minister for Primary Health Care Margaret Muhanga has hailed the efforts made by Nile breweries in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic.
Muhanga who was speaking at the launch of a two-day vaccination drive by Nile Breweries at Fig Tree Bar and Restaurant in Kansanga said such initiatives go a long way in helping steer the government’s programs of fighting the pandemic.
“We thank Nile Breweries for consistently supporting the Ministry of Health in its anti-Covid-19 efforts. We need to use such drives to reach every area so that especially old people are vaccinated so we can reach a target of 4.8million people for the government to fully open the economy in January,” she said.
Muhanga added that the health ministry hopes to reach 6million people since in November, they will receive 3.5million doses of Pfizer and more doses of Johnson &Johnson by December.
“Uganda today has currently vaccinated 3,180,000 people. We are targeting to vaccinate 4.8million people in our first phase and these include 3.3million above 50 years, teachers, health workers, and people in the armed forces. We are also targeting university students who are about 330,000.”
The minister was dismayed by the fact that the elderly above 50 years are not turning up for the vaccination exercise yet they are the most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 and getting too sick.
She appealed to them to take up the exercise and tasked leaders at all levels to reach out to this category of people in all ways to have them embrace the exercise
Nile Breweries Country Director, Mr David Valencia, said that at NBL, they believe in safety first and are committed to safeguarding the health of their employees, customers and communities.
He revealed that the pandemic has shown people that the best way to protect lives is through the private sector and government working together.
“Vaccination is our best chance to protect ourselves, our families, and our colleagues from the dangers of COVID-19, and we hope as many people as possible take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.
Mr Onapito Ekomoloit, the Legal & Corporate Director Nile Breweries, shared that they are proud to join the ministry of health and the government to drive up the number of vaccination.
He explained that at Nile Breweries, they appreciate that Covid-19 has put a lot of pressure on Uganda’s healthcare system since hospitals were not made for this kind of pandemic.
“The onus is on us as Ugandans to work together to beat Covid 19. We are saying, play your part, get vaccinated, because only if we each deliberately put in this effort will be able to have our economy open. Vaccination is the best option for the country to kick out Covid 19,” he said.
Nile Breweries’ two-day walk-in vaccination drive at 20 of its distribution sites across the country in different districts is aimed at making the vaccine more accessible to up to 10,000 frontline and vulnerable categories of people, among whom are bar workers, a critical value chain of NBL.
Some of the districts include, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Nebbi, Moroto, Soroti, Tororo, Mbale, Kapchorwa, Kasese, Kabale, Mukono, Buikwe, Kampala, Jinja, Masaka, Hoima, Mityana, Kampala and Mbarara.
This comes against the backdrop of President Yoweri Museveni’s call to have bar workers included among the 4.8 million frontline and vulnerable categories who should be vaccinated by December to allow for schools and the economy to open, in January 2022.
NBL has previously donated 300 oxygen cylinders for use in COVID critical-care wards, 25,000kg of maize meal to those threatened by food insecurity during the first lockdown, 2,400 litres of fuel to COVID Task Forces, and medical equipment valued at Shs60 million for Mulago Hospital Intensive Care Unit to assist in the fight against the pandemic.