The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, together with the Ministry of Health officials, yesterday spearheaded the launch of the Community Engagement Strategy, aimed at boosting the response to Covid-19.
Officiating at the event held at Hotel African, Rugunda revealed that the strategy is meant to drive and ensure community ownership of the response efforts as orchestrated by the Ministry of Health and their partners.
“The objective of launching the community engagement strategy for COVID-19 is that all people in Uganda are aware, empowered and participate actively in the prevention and control of the outbreak of COVID-19 both as duty and right,” he said.
The community engagement strategy, Dr. Rugunda said, is a whole of society approach to ensure that combating the pandemic takes the combined efforts of everybody; individuals, families, Local Councils, Village Health Teams, religious, cultural and opinion leaders and all other actors.
The strategy also seeks to reach out to all people in various communities and sensitize them more on the importance of adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures in regards to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
The Minister of state for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu said that the strategy also aims at empowering the Village Health Teams (VHTs) which have existed in Uganda since the 2000s and have made significant contributions in all aspects of health.
“Today’s launch of the community engagement strategy is going to make a new beginning for the people, especially the VHTs because government has now decided and is committed to ensuring that VHTs in each local council 1, receive an allowance that will enable them to get more committed and create time to work for the community,” said Kaducu.
“We, as the Ministry of Health, are so delighted that other sectors of government are so active in the sub-committee of the community engagement strategy and have actively participated in its development,” she added.
Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Chairman Community Engagement Strategy (CES) Sub Committee, said that empowering individuals and communities stands on the base that good health starts with the individual.
“As Chair of the National Community Engagement Sub-committee, I applaud the President and government of Uganda for launching the Community Engagement Strategy which has a very high return on investment,” Omwasa said.