The Minister of State for Finance, Hon. David Bahati has promised to release Ushs 6 billion for the emergency treatment and administration of vaccines for Hepatitis B.
Addressing Parliament Tuesday 4th October, 2016, Bahati said that the Ministry of Finance will issue an accelerated release of funds to the Ministry of Health to solve the Hepatitis B outbreak.
The Minister was responding to queries from the MPs as to why money is being released in phases, after he delivered a Ministerial Statement on funding for Hepatitis B Control for the financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Hon. Raphael Magyezi (Igara West) questioned the quarterly release of the funds for alleviating the outbreak yet it was an urgent matter.
“The Minister of Finance says that they have released Ushs 500 million recently which is not enough to combat the outbreak; people are dying and the disease is not spreading in quarters,” Magyezi said.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Winfred Kiiza added that the Ministry of Finance request Parliament for a supplementary budget to handle the outbreak yet, up to now people have not received the help they need.
“We authorised the supplementary budget for Hepatitis B Control to be totally dealt with, why then is it still an issue?” Kizza said.
Bahati responded saying that the Ministry of Health asks Ministry of Finance for money on a quarterly basis so they cannot release more than the Ministry Health can absorb.
He added however, that the Ministry can request for an accelerated release.
“We approved Ushs 10bn and have released Ushs 4bn. We are going to release the rest of the Ushs 6bn,” Bahati said, adding that, “As a matter of fact the Ministry of Health can ask for the release of money to be accelerated which can done in this case.”
The Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah requested the Ministry of Finance to follow up on the matter and provide an update to Parliament tomorrow on whether the money was released.
Members of Parliament initially raised the matter of the Hepatitis B outbreak on Wednesday 16th March 2016, expressing their disappointment in the failure by the government to produce a statement on the Hepatitis B outbreak in the country.