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Hon. Kawooya Launches West Nile’s Regional Emergency Operations Centre For Epidemic Monitoring

Minister Hanifa Kawooya launching the public health regional emergency operations centre in Arua



The state minister for health (general duties), Hanifa Kawooya has launched the public health regional emergency operations centre (REOC) for the West Nile sub-region at Arua Regional Referral hospital.

It is the third such centre after Mbale and Fort Portal that the ministry has operationalized in addition to the national public health epidemic monitoring centre.

Kawooya said she was happy to officiate at the commissioning of the noble project and urged all the ministry of health partners and the trained medical staff manning the centre to put it to good use.

She thanked the United States Centre for Disease Control for financing the establishment of the centre that is fully equipped with the state-of-the-art Information Technology gear to allow instant information sourcing around the world, from within the country and the region.

Pointing to one giant screen displaying the Covid-19 global updates, Kawooya said: “Now that we have the world standing Coronavirus pandemic graph, it will help us see where we are, measure our efforts and see our achievements.”

She assured the public that Uganda is on course to achieving the target to vaccinate 32 million of her population against Coronavirus because it now has vaccines and will acquire more of them.

The REOC for West Nile would be run by staff from the Infectious Disease Institute and Arua Regional referral Hospital.

Dr. Gilbert Aniku, one of the medics manning the centre, has confirmed that the entire team of monitors has undergone rigorous training and are ready for the tasks assigned to them.

In an earlier interview with the, Dr. Aniku intimated: “The centre gets information about emergencies, synthesiz it and forward for decision making by the relevant authorities. For instance Arua is flagged red as a hot-spot for Covid-19, Yumbe is also a hot-spot.”

He said that apart from monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic, the REOC will keep an eye on other epidemics such as polio and the plague outbreak in the Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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