According to impeccable sources at the Ministry of Health, unscrupulous officials from the ministry swindled over sh600m during the mass yellow fever vaccination exercise last year.
The stolen money was enough to buy doses of yellow fever vaccines for over 7,500 people.
An official at the Ministry who spoke to Acholi Times on conditions of anonymity said that some officials “withdrew the money supposedly without the knowledge of the permanent secretary, Dr. Asuman Lukwago.”
Last year, Abim, Agago, Lamwo, Kitgum, Pader, Gulu, Arua, Kaabong and Lira districts were gripped with an epidemic of Yellow fever.
Over two million people in 26 districts in the north were to be vaccinated after the disease killed about 50 people and affected 190 others in two months. Equally, the manner in which the ministry carried out the vaccination exercise was in total disregard of the well being of the unsuspecting victims, some of whom died from drug overdoes as a direct result of being vaccinated.
One such person is the former Kampala District Police Commander Lazarus Obalim, who was already a high blood and diabetic patient. Obalim was vaccinated without health officials making any enquiries as to what medication he was already taking. It resulted in an overdose of medication which in the end claimed his life.
The symptoms for the Yellow fever include diarrhoea, headache, fever and abdominal pain. Others are flu-like symptoms, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), liver, kidney and respiratory failure. Patients also experience dizziness and vomit blood.
A single dose of yellow fever vaccine confers immunity lasting 10 years or more. If a person is at continued risk of infection, a booster dose is needed every 10 years. Adults and children over nine months can take this vaccine.
The vaccine was to be procured from the World Health Organisation and the United States Centre for Disease Control at about sh8b.
The United Nations Children’s Fund is one of the international agencies that funded the project.
According to the source, the money was pilfered during the election campaigns because there was minimal monitoring at this time.
Attempts to speak to senior ministry officials were futile as no one wanted to speak to the reporter.
This is not the first time that money meant to save millions of lives is being embezzled in Uganda. Who can forget the controversial fund totalling $4.3 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and immunisation (GAVI), and what was done about the Global Fund and CHOGM? Do Ugandans even know that even CHOGM money meant for the health sector was eaten?
By A Web design Company
By A Web design Company