By Julius Muhumuza
Health activists and Civil Society organizations want government to stop accepting all donations from Tobacco companies, because the practice undermines government’s credibility to protect public health.
The activists say, the contributions from Tobacco companies towards efforts to fight COVID-19 in Uganda, are illegal and contravene sections of local and international laws.
Tobacco companies, Leaf Tobacco & commodities ltd, and meridian Tobacco Company contributed 250 million Uganda shillings to the National Covid-19 Donations Committee under the Office of the Prime Minister, to support efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus in Uganda.
This donation among many others was recognized and read out by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during a nation address he made on Tuesday 14th April 2020.
According to Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) Executive Director, Mr. Richard Baguma says, the donation is not only illegal but tobacco products are top-most in endangering public health.
“We want government to stop accepting such donations because by accepting such donations, government is shooting itself in the foot since Tobacco smokers are among the groups worst hit by COVID-19” Baguma said.