Government has condemned what has been termed as subjective media stories that mock their efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
While addressing the weekly media press briefing on Sunday, the information minister, Hon. Judith Nabakooba noted that western media always want to project a picture of poor and struggling countries when it comes to dealing with pandemics.
“The narrative of poverty with communities waiting for western intervention is something that western audiences enjoy seeing. It is unfortunate that some local media as well fail to see past this colonial mentality” Hon. Nabakooba said.
Adding that for the record, Uganda has had one of the most successful
COVID-19 interventions world over.
Our strategy could be slow at the beginning, but it is
consistent and efficient, and that at the end, all Ugandans will be vaccinated.
“Throughout our work, we have demonstrated that money is not always the defining factor. For one to appreciate our COVID-19 vaccination strategy, they must understand where we started. Before the country registered its first COVID-19 case, we had already put in place a number of preventive measures. Over the years, Uganda has consistently demonstrated local successes against major outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV” the minister explained.
She therefore demanded on behalf of the country that for those who
choose to tell Uganda’s stories, they must do so in an informed and objective manner.
Recently, the Ministry of health started vaccinating high risk
categories of people around the country and so far, more than 40,000 people mainly health workers, teachers and those above 70 years have been vaccinated.
“Our choice of strategy is not based on lack of money. There are many factors that define the supply of vaccines other than money such as supply issues. Journalists should therefore do their research properly before saying that our response is driven by lack of money. I call upon all Ugandans to embrace this vaccine because it is safe” she added.
According to Nabakooba, the AstraZeneca vaccine which is being administered in Uganda, is not meant to stop recipients from getting the virus. However, it helps to reduce severe effects and even death in case one gets the virus.
On Saturday, His Excellence the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, together with First lady Janet Museveni also received the first dose of the vaccine.
“We must remember they are not among the high-risk categories defined by the Ministry of Health. They chose to take it at this point in order to encourage all of us. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni called upon everyone to embrace this vaccine which is available” Nabakooba argued.
Adding that Uganda scientists are also working hard and hopefully
before the end of year, Uganda too will have its homegrown vaccine.