Uganda’s Ministry of Health PS Diana Atwine. [Photo: Uganda’s Ministry of Health]
Oct 27th 2020 – Uganda has reduced the cost of testing for COVID-19, from $65 (Ksh 7,075) to $50 (Ksh 5,442), as a move to welcome truck drivers operating within East Africa, in the country.
Businesses had been brought to standstill, at the Kenyan-Ugandan border, as many trucks were backed up, over 60 kilometers, due to the high cost of COVID-19 testing.
Two months ago, Uganda introduced a fee of $65 (Ksh.7,075), for COVID-19 testing, a move that caused so much tension, especially among truck drivers who transit within the East African region.
In a statement issued by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, Health Officials said, the main reason the fee was reduced, was the reduction in cost of transporting laboratory testing kits and other supplies from the manufacturer, to Uganda, following the resumption of international flights.
Dr. Diana Atwine, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary said, “The basis for the cost was actually the cost incurred while procuring and transportation and all those logistical costs, and therefore it was very expensive. But now, the airport has opened.”
She further said, “But also remember that at the beginning, few companies were manufacturing. Over time, we have seen more companies come on board, therefore the tests are easily available and therefore the cost has come down.”
The Health Ministry says, with the move, there’s hope for more COVID-19 testing, that will in turn lead to better management and containment of the virus.