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CCBA installs hand-washing station at Mbarara Hospital

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Mbarara District Health Officer Peter Sebutinde demonstrates how to wash hands.

Mbarara District Health Officer Peter Sebutinde demonstrates how to wash hands.

By Our Reporter

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As part of support to the Ministry of Health in the fight against Coronavirus in Uganda, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) in Uganda has installed a 5,000 litre Community hand-washing Station at Mbarara Referral Hospital in western Uganda.

CCBA, through Century and Rwenzori Bottling Companies in Uganda, has so far established five (5) 5,000litre Community Handwashing Stations for the general public use in Mukono (Namanve), Kampala (Kyambogo) and Mbarara (Makenke and Municipality).

General Manager Melkamu Abebe, in a message delivered by Mbarara Plant Manager Joackim Baluku, said the Company was committed to contributing to efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

“Across the Coca-Cola system we always look for meaningful ways to contribute to our people, including the communities we serve. We are guided by our company purpose: refresh the world and make a difference in the community. We do what we do because we are people-centered. We provided safety measures inside our Plants to protect our employees and their families, and now with the community hand-washing Tanks we are extending that protection to the general public,” Abebe said.

Mbarara Referral Hospital Director Celestine Barigye said the hospital had established two hand-washing stations but was overwhelmed by the numbers of people flocking the hospital.

Hospital officials had raised concerns about long queues of people gathering at the stations to wash their hands, as an additional COVID-19 risk.

“When the Pandemic began, following the President’s advice we set-up the two hand-washing facilities but they were not enough. With this new addition we can ensure more people wash hands faster and increase the safety of all. We also needed an extra reservoir tank and we have now received it. The tank from Coca-Cola has a large capacity so water availability is guaranteed,” he said.

Mbarara Referral Hospital currently has eight COVID-19 patients and has so far discharged 21 who have recovered successfully. The hospital has a bed capacity to handle 30 patients at ago.

The CCBA handover on Wednesday also included 305 20-litre hand-washing Jerrycans for distribution at various busy points in Mbarara, handed to the COVID-19 District Task Force. This is part of the 5,000 hand-washing Jerrycans pledged for the national effort against COVID-19.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCBA has provided several interventions including; food relief worth UGX390 million from The Coca-Cola Foundation, distributed through the Uganda Red Cross Society to vulnerable families affected by the lockdown; UGX85 million to the Ministry of Health to buy medical equipment and sundries; public awareness worth UGX460 million and three pick-up trucks for the Ministry of Health COVID-19 Task Force. So far the total contribution during this period is UGX1.3 billion.

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