The internet has been awash with pictures of Uganda’s Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng holding a huge gathering of people in pure disregard of COVID-19 guidelines. Aceng is said to have held a gathering of very many people in Aromo Sub county where she openly campaigned and interacted people without masks, social distancing or handwashing available at the venue.
The photos have caused massive uproar on social media with, FDC strongman Col Kizza Besigye among the many top opposition members to criticise the minister.
However, Aceng has today cleared the air about the allegations that she was openly campaigning, sating it was supposed to be the launch of a masks distribution exercise in Aromo Sub county which attracted many people who eventually outnumbered security because they wanted to take photos with ‘Mama Corona’.
Aceng further revealed that she sensitised the masses about hand washing as well as how to correctly use facemasks.
Below is Dr Jane Ruth Aceng’s detailed statement.:
My attention is drawn to social media posts of pictures of me meeting crowds with no social distancing and no masks and even alleging that I was holding a political rally.
I would like to reiterate that I was not holding a political rally. I was launching the distribution of face masks in Aromo Subcounty and training people on how to properly use the masks on Friday 10 July 2020.
However, at the time, village health teams and other youth were also being oriented on the processes for distribution of the Long-lasting mosquito net distribution nearby.
They got excited when they heard about face masks, and specifically the Minister for health whom they call ‘mama Corona’ and rushed to see me. They were difficult to control as seen in the picture as many wanted to take pictures and also get masks from me.
I took the time to educate these youth on the same as well as on the face masks. They left as very knowledgeable people appreciating the importance of face masks and social distancing.
As the Minister who is at the helm of the Corona response and an aspiring Woman MP of Lira District, I am cognizant of the rules and guidelines that we as the government have put in place.
I continue to appeal to you all to wear your masks, maintain social distance and wash your hands with soap regularly to prevent COVID19.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng
Minister for Health
12 July 2020″