By Goodluck Musinguzi
Uganda has joined over 100 Countries across the Globe to complete an evaluation of its health security capacity that will help in planning and resource mobilization to address gaps. The Uganda Multi-Sectoral Consensus meeting was convened by the Ministry of Health in Kampala to evaluate progress towards its attainment of health security.
Rt Hon Gen Moses Ali, the Second Deputy Prime Minister launched the Report on the 2021 Uganda Multi-Sectoral Self-Assessment using the JEE tool and Operational planning on behalf of the Prime Minister.
Gen Ali said Government is committed to improving its health security capacity through the National Development Plan 111 which was launched recently.
Hon Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health said they will do much more as regards the Global Health Security Agenda commitments that have been agreed on in Kampala.
They include 1- licensing of all laboratories in Uganda by 2024 in all sectors (Animal, Human, Nuclear, and Chemical).
2- Designate 05 high volume points of Entry for Uganda by 2024.
3- Decentralize One Health in 50 districts by 2024
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed Uganda Revenue Authority to install scans at 51 Entry points meaning the Ministry of Health will designate 51 Entry points too according to Dr. Henry Mwebesa.
Uganda maintained capacities for surveillance with improved Indicator-Based Surveillance(IBS) and Event-Based Surveillance and the use of electronic tools in the health sector.
There was improved capacity at Points of Entry because Uganda designating three points that have International Health Regulations(IHR) core capacities including ambulances to transport sick travelers to appropriate referral health facilities.
Uganda has been credited for leveraging COVID19 funding, it improved infrastructure and resources for screening, testing, and transporting travelers and the use of electronic test validation systems.
However, Dr. Rhoda Wanyeze, Professor and Dean, Makerere University School of Public Health asked Are our Health Systems resilient enough?
Wanyeze said generally all Low Middle-Income Countries’ health systems are not well equipped to address the growing Non-Communicable Diseases and persistent infectious disease burden.
She said Uganda has progressively improved but there are still gaps in preparedness and response to health emergencies and continuity of essential and quality health services during emergencies.