Uganda Virus Research Institute says they have not received COVID-19 funds

By Alice Lubwama

The Uganda Virus research institute says that it hasn’t received any money from the government for COVID -19 activities.

While appearing before the public accounts committee of parliament chaired by Chwa west legislator Okin Ojara, the director of the institute Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu said that the institute suspended all its programs and diverted the 780 million shillings to fund COVID 19 work.

Kaleebu added that the institute presented a budget of 1.7 million dollars to the ministry of health to go towards their COVID 19 related work but that funding has never been availed.

The institute which hosts a regional referral lab on influenza has been the sole research and testing facility for COVID 19 in Uganda throughout the Pandemic.

He stated that most of the funding has come in from donors and partners like the WHO, CDC and the Jack Ma foundation.

However, Tororo South MP Fredrick Angura wondered why the institute was neglected and yet the government had availed a hefty COVID 19 response supplementary budget.