By Kawamala Sam
Uganda Breweries Limited and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda, with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, have partnered with Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and the Ministry of Health to speed up COVID-19 Vaccination and open up the economy.
The private sector players today launched a rejuvenated COVID-19 vaccination drive that will increase the number of vaccination points in the Kampala Metropolitan Area for more people to get access to the available vaccines.
Under the initiative, UBL, Coca-Cola and other private sector players will support the scaling up of COVID-19 mobile sites in the greater Kampala Metropolitan area by sensitizing and mobilising the public to go and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Through this initiative, we intend to drive awareness of the benefits of vaccination and encourage as many people to get vaccinated. This will be done through mobile sites spread around the city to bring vaccines closer to people and scale up accessibility and convenience. The collaboration between the government and private sector is key to ensure that the public health response to the pandemic is strengthened to mitigate the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Juliana Kagwa of Uganda Breweries Limited.
Dorothy Kisaka, KCCA Executive Director applauded UBL for the move and encouraged even more private sector players to come on board to increase uptake of vaccines. “Our priority is to establish more vaccination centers within the Kampala Metropolitan area. Visit any of these locations and receive your shot.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe for you. Protect yourself and others by getting vaccinated.”
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, total doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered stand at 1.78 million.
“Vaccination is a proven lifesaving public health intervention. We continue to encourage the public to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines protect you from getting seriously ill and dying from COVID-19. In addition to vaccination, we appeal to the public to continue to adhere to the SOP’s in place,” Ms Kisaka added.
Uganda’s economy contracted 1.1% in 2020 because of the pandemic and the related containment measures. According to Bank of Uganda, Uganda’s economy is projected to grow between 3% – 3.5% this financial year however the near-term outlook remains worrying as vaccinations are lagging well behind set targets.
Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Public Affairs & Communications Director, Simon Kaheru, said vaccination was imperative to save lives and the economy.
“Everybody should go and get vaccinated otherwise these lockdowns will continue to disrupt our lives. All of us should realize in our different businesses that we will not operate normally unless we are protected from COVID-19. We are calling on all closed businesses to take this seriously – bar owners, boda-boda riders, telecommunications employees, everybody – come and get vaccinated to protect your lives and your businesses. This is the only way we can open up the economy,” Kaheru said.
“Under PSFU we set up a COVID-19 Task Force and we have mobilized more members to get involved. I call upon all businesses to send their employees and their families to every vaccination centre available, on top of enforcing the SOPs,” he added.
“This initiative compliments our Raising the Bar program, a USD 1 million fund established to prepare the hospitality industry for safe reopening by establishing health measures and providing essential training to boost their capacity to reopen their businesses under the respective national guidelines. Economic recovery remains hinged on vaccination that will enable easing of restrictions that are currently impacting business recovery,” added Juliana Kagwa.
The initiative will also mobilize players within the hospitality and entertainment sector including bar owners and staff to embrace vaccination as a key strategy towards full reopening of all sectors of the economy.