Medical protective gear is no longer imported into Uganda – UNBS
Uganda’s National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has said that the country no longer imports personal protective equipment due to increased local manufacturing capability as a result of the arrival of COVID-19.
Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, the UNBS executive director, said yesterday in Bweyogere, Wakiso, that they now have the competence to verify the quality of all medical-related items, including face masks (both medical and non-medical suits), sanitizers, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
“Previously, we were shipping medical equipment to other nations for laboratory analysis, but now we have increased our capacity not just for medical equipment and sanitizers, but we can also assess the level of alcohol in drinks,” he said.
He also stated that, in addition to the Shs300 million in medical equipment testing equipment, the Danish government, which provided the equipment, is providing an additional Shs6 billion in equipment to open regional testing centers for locally manufactured goods in Mbale, Arua, Gulu, and Mbarara.
The action will decrease the requirement for long-distance trips to Kampala to certify items while also promoting regional commerce.
Speaking at the same ceremony, Mr. Nicolaj Hejberg Petersen, the Danish Ambassador to Uganda, said that sponsoring UNBS was critical due to the significance of the organization to Uganda’s economic growth.
Since the COVID 19 outbreak, he added, UNBS has been engaged in a variety of measures to help the nation, including ensuring that locally made personal protective equipment meets quality requirements.
“We have been assisting Uganda in fighting [COVID-19] locally by ensuring that locally produced face masks, sanitizers, and personal protective equipment is tested and certified to create jobs and ensure the quality is fine,” he said, adding that Denmark is assisting Uganda in raising product quality so that it can access international markets.
Mr. Anna Nambooze, Trade Mark East Africa’s national representative for Uganda and South Sudan, said that since 2010, they have been assisting manufacturers in ensuring that locally created products meet requirements.
She also said that COVID-19 had provided a number of obstacles, such as making mobility difficult, which affected commerce, necessitating the creation of a safe trade emergency facility, which need a regular supply of personal protective equipment.
“It is critical to guarantee that the individuals who use these items are safe and that the products satisfy the criteria,” she added.