U.S. Embassy Kampala
July 9, 2021
Statement by U.S. Ambassador Natalie E. Brown on Visit to Namboole COVID-19 Treatment Unit
Today, I had the privilege to meet with and hear from public health workers caring for their fellow citizens at the Namboole COVID-19 Treatment Unit (CTU) set up at the Mandela National Stadium in Wakiso District. The Namboole CTU, equipped to treat mild to severe cases, is particularly able to support patients who do not have access to home-based care. The U.S. 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 in collaboration with Ugandan public health experts to coordinate technical assistance and funding to support COVID-19 vaccination program planning, implementation, and evaluation, as well as to support to districts countrywide through other partners like the Infectious Disease Institute and the Africa One Health University Network at Makerere University, as well as the Uganda Red Cross Society.
My visit to Namboole CTU was an opportunity to learn more about the life-saving work carried out under often difficult circumstances. The medical professionals, separated from their own families for extended periods, have been working long hours without pause since the unit was established, accepting patients who were turned away from other facilities. I commend the creativity and leadership in quickly converting the sports stadium into a treatment unit that can manage over a thousand patients with a range of conditions. Moreover, I applaud the hard work and commitment of the medical and support staff who are saving 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 on the COVID response effort since it started in January 2020. The United States remains committed to ending this pandemic and preventing COVID infections. To that end, on June 10th, President Biden announced that the United States would purchase and donate half a billion vaccine doses for 92 low- and lower middle-income countries, including Uganda. We’re working to get them here as soon as possible.
I reiterate my appreciation to the public health workers across Uganda for all they do. I also offer my condolences to the families and friends of the fallen healthcare workers who died in the line of duty, and for the patients who lost their battle to this insidious virus. May their souls rest in peace.