Health

Covid-19 vaccination drive in Mbale dealt blow as doctors issue certificates to unvaccinated citizens

Efforts to have Mbale City residents vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 variants are being hampered by some doctors and nurses who are issuing the medical cards and certificates without first vaccinating the recipients of the medical documents.

A clandestine investigation by this news website has established that some government workers including teachers, nurses, public administrators and others have received both covid-19 vaccination cards and certificates without being vaccinated as required by government.  The cost for this forgery ranges from about Shs50, 000 -Shs100, 000.

The government of Uganda, like several other governments across the world have introduced covid-19 cards and certificates as way of documenting citizen who have been vaccinated against covid-19 especially as Omicron variant hits the world.

The government of Uganda insists its civil servants must be vaccinated against the virus before they can be allowed to access their workplaces. Some private companies have also put the same measure for their workers. But the on-going rumours that vaccines have caused some deaths have forced workers and other categories of people to get forged or real certificates without being immunized.

“I was able to get covid-19 certificates for my mother who teachers in one of primary schools in Mbale City,” an interviewee who preferred to remain anonymous told this news website at the begging of this week, stating that he paid a medical doctor Shs100,000 to enter his mother into the national covid-19 system for those vaccinated.

“If you have Shs80, 000 I can take you that doctor. He will give your both the covid-19 vaccination card and certificate. He will also enter you into the Ministry of Health electronic system for those vaccinated against covid-19,” the man said, adding that doctors and nurses are earning good money from the bad practice.

An administrator at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital when contacted by this news website on issues of covid-19 vaccination drive, said the hospital has put warned its staff against assuring fake certificates, although he added that it could be true some staff have involved themselves in the bad behavior of issuing covid-19 cards and certificates, without vaccinating the recipients of the documents, which, he said, goes against professional ethics.

“As managers of the hospital, we have warned our staff against issuing cards and certificates of covid-19 vaccination without vaccinating them (recipients),” an assistant who preferred to remain anonymous for he is not allowed to talk to the place, said, urging the public in Mbale to go for vovid-19 jabs so  as to be safe from catching the virus.

Also some printing units that operate around Mbale City are in the business of issuing fake covid-19 vaccination card and certificates, this news website can say. “We have given many cards to those who need them,” said an operator of a small printing kiosk, adding that most his customer are teachers and travelers.

Covid-19 first hit Uganda in 2020 and the country was put under lockdown for two years until two weeks ago when President Museveni eased some sectors of the economy like education, sending learners back to school for the new term.

According to the Ministry of Health latest figures, about 3,437 people have died of Covid 19, even though the same ministry says about 12 million doses have been administered.

Uganda is utilizing cCovid-19 vaccines such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, even though government’s pledge to have the country produce its own vaccines is yet to materialise.

As some Ugandans stubborn and don’t want to be vaccinated, new cases have been established in the districts of Kampala (124), Wakiso (76), Oyam (10), Kween (9), Arua (6), Gulu (5), Kyotera (5), Jinja (3), Soroti (2), Tororo (1), Mbale (1), Hoima (2), Gomba, (1),Kabarole (1) , Amuru (3),Lira (1), Busia (1) and Kisoro (1).

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