AFRICA – Uganda and Zanzibar have received additional equipment to bolster their efforts to contain new variants of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Uganda, the new equipment involves received a complete set of one thousand oxygen cylinders worth US$ 233,000 procured by WHO with financial support from the Government of Denmark for the management of critical cases of COVID-19.

The package includes 1,000 medical oxygen cylinders (J-type with a capacity of 6,800L), 1,000 oxygen cylinder regulators and humidifier bottles adequate to administer oxygen for up to 1000 COVID-19 patients at any time,” reported the health ministry.

The Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng received the equipment noting that the additional oxygen cylinders received are an effective response to the current health needs in Uganda.

The 1,000 oxygen cylinders will enable the transportation and delivery of oxygen to COVID-19 patients health facilities across the country with a focus on areas where there is insufficient or no piped oxygen,” she said.

Vaccination campaigns and coronavirus testing are very important measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Since the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Uganda in March 2020, the country has experienced two major waves of the pandemic and is now responding to the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

The second wave experienced an increase in morbidity and mortality of 2.7%, compared to the first wave (0.9%) and the deaths were attributed to insufficient oxygen supply in various regional referral hospitals.

Zanzibar receives Africa’s first EDE COVID-19 Scanners

Meanwhile in Zanzibar, the government has received EDE Covid-19 scanners, the first of their kind in Africa, from Abu Dhabi, Dubai on 16th February 2022 at the Abeid Amani Kurume International Airport, Terminal 3.

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and as the virus continues to mutate into more variants, the EDE scanners are a sure precautionary method that will help create safer spaces and maintain public health.

The scanners will also come as a relief to thousands of COVID negative tourists who will be assured of safe and accessible entry into Zanzibar without the trouble of enduring an uncomfortable nose swab.

The EDE scanners employ a technology that can detect a possible COVID-19 infection by measuring electromagnetic waves which change when the RNA particles of the virus are present in a person’s body.

This move by the government is indicative of its vision to harness modern technology to create opportunities out of challenging times.

It is also an example of how African governments are collaborating with international institutions technically and strategically to ensure that the nations respond to the pandemic effectively.

International organizations such as World Health Organization (WHO) remain committed to supporting African governments in their fight against COVID-19 to promote good health in the countries through donations in medical equipment, vaccines and financial aid.

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