U.S. Embassy Kampala
July 9, 2021
Statement by US Ambassador Natalie E. Brown during her visit to the COVID-19 treatment unit in Namboole
Today, I had the privilege of meeting and hearing from public health workers who care for their fellow citizens at the Namboole COVID-19 Treatment Unit (UTC) located at the Mandela National Stadium in the district by Wakiso. The Namboole UTC, equipped to treat mild to severe cases, is particularly able to support patients who do not have access to home care. The American mission in Uganda, through the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development], is honored to work collaboratively with Ugandan public health experts to coordinate technical assistance and funding to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccination program, as well as to support the country’s districts through other partners such as Africa One Health University Network at Makerere University, as well as the Ugandan Red Cross.
My visit to CTU Namboole was an opportunity to learn more about the rescue work carried out in often difficult circumstances. Healthcare professionals, separated from their own families for long periods of time, have worked long hours without interruption since the unit was established, accepting patients who have been turned away from other facilities. I salute the creativity and leadership in rapidly converting the athletic stadium into a treatment unit that can handle over a thousand patients with a range of conditions. Additionally, I applaud the hard work and commitment of medical and support staff who save lives every day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that no country exists alone. We are all connected, depend on each other and learn from each other. The United States has long been a partner in saving lives, improving health and addressing public health threats in Uganda, and U.S. mission personnel have been at the table of the COVID response effort since its inception. in January 2020. The United States remains committed to ending this pandemic and preventing COVID infections. To that end, on June 10, President Biden announced that the United States would purchase and donate half a billion doses of vaccine for 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries, including Uganda. We are working to get them here as soon as possible.
I reiterate my gratitude to public health workers across Uganda for all they are doing. I also offer my condolences to the families and friends of healthcare workers who have died in the line of duty, as well as to the patients who have lost their battle with this insidious virus. May their souls rest in peace.