Kampala, 23 September 2021 | Belgium will deliver 153,900 vaccines to Uganda. These vaccines will contribute to stepping up the vaccination campaign for teachers and reopening schools to more than 10 million pupils and students. With this, Belgium is responding to the Ugandan government's request to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
In August, the Ugandan government addressed an official request for assistance to the European Union. They requested assistance to administer the second dose of AstraZeneca to vaccinate the 162,026 teachers who received the first dose and 100,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson to vaccinate teachers in rural areas.
The 153,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in Kampala on Wednesday, September 22. This vaccine donation is supported by the Embassy of Belgium in Kampala and Enabel - the Belgian Development Agency, in charge of coordination with the Ugandan authorities and logistics.
“Every child back to school. Everywhere in the world. That's my goal. By vaccinating teachers we contribute to providing renewed access to education for as many children, youngsters and students in Uganda, as quickly as possible" emphasises Minister of Development Cooperation, Meryame Kitir."
According to Ugandan authorities, vaccinating priority groups such as teachers will help reopen schools for more than 10 million pupils and students. Uganda has experienced a new wave of COVID-19 in recent months
The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Uganda remains minimal and below the African average. To control the pandemic, the country has had to take drastic measures, one of them being the closure of schools.
The impact on students (primary and secondary) has been particularly severe. Young people have not been to school for 18 months; distance learning is hardly possible due to the lack of equipment and internet connection.
At the request of the Minister, Meryame Kitir, our country's focus for the next deliveries will be on Africa and more specifically on our African partner countries, where access to vaccines is sorely lacking. Only 2% of Africa's total population has been vaccinated. "We can be very proud of the high vaccination coverage in our country. But at the same time, I remain very concerned because many people in vulnerable countries do not have access to a vaccine. This virus has no borders. International solidarity and cooperation is the only way out of this health crisis. We will only be safe when everyone is safe," said Minister Kitir.