Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has apologized for the prolonged delay in distribution of face masks to all Ugandans above the age of 6 as directed by President Yoweri Museveni in May this year. Aceng says the delay is beyond their control as a ministry.
Aceng says to-date, 44 districts across the country have received a total of 16,092,780 masks out of the planned 34 million masks. However, the distribution has not gone as planned.
She says the challenges range from material sourcing to production capacity by the companies that were contracted to supply the masks.
According to Aceng, the Ministry of Health has been informed about the poor quality of some of the masks supplied by certain companies as they do not meet the required specifications of Ministry of Health and the set standards of UNBS.
“In order to address this challenge, the companies have been tasked to improve the quality according to the set standards provided by Government. In the event that the company does not adhere to the recommended standards, they will be dropped out from the list of suppliers.
Furthermore, the suppliers have been directed to put the company label on each mask in order for the public to hold them accountable. Qualification of the failed face masks is on going with dialogue for replacement,” she explains.