Uganda: let’s be our brother, sister’s keeper

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Today, according to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, three (3) people who have been completely healed of the deadly Covid-19 disease- will be discharged.
This is a great victory for the people of Uganda; perhaps the greatest national Easter gift ever!
This great news, comes on the back of yet another good news that of all the 439 people tested, none tested positive for Covid-19, keeping the confirmed cases at a flat 53, for the fourth straight day!
Although we are yet to hit the epidemiological flat curve, this happening at a time when global case and death rates are still growing- on average by 2.68% and 6%-10% respectively, this is surely a success worth celebrating!
We, the Online Media Publishers Association of Uganda (OMPA) would like to congratulate all our healthcare workers, under the leadership of our Ministry of Health’s Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng (Minister), Dr. Diana Atwiine (Permanent Secretary) and Dr. Henry Mwebesa (Director General of Health Services). Special mention also goes to the staff of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) who have done a commendable job in testing.
Key to note is that over the last 2 weeks, the ministry has ramped up its ability to identify, isolate and test suspected cases- on average, by 11% daily. To date, 4,301 cases have been tested- an average of 200 cases daily.
We also would like to pay special tribute to our President, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his decisive, firm, yet empathetic and visionary leadership that saw Uganda institute several preventive restrictions days before Uganda even declared its first case on March 21st.
In the same vein, we would like to acknowledge the efforts of our mother ministry, the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance- under the leadership of Hon. Judith Nabakooba (Minister), Hon. Peter Ogwang (State Ministry) and Hon. Vincent Waiswa Bagiire (Permanent Secretary) for consistently engaging with the media and ensuring that we educate the masses, especially, on how to prevent the killer disease.
The strong correlation between ignorance and pandemics is well documented. We therefore would also like to thank all our media colleagues who, daily dedicate time, resources and valuable media space to keep the masses educated. Unlike most Ugandans, we of all people know what it takes, so we do not take your contribution for granted.

We would also like to acknowledge all the people of Uganda- for heeding to government’s advice to #StayHome and #StaySafe. To all the individuals and organisations that have contributed materially and financially to both controlling the disease and easing the pain of the knock-on effects of the disease, Uganda is eternally grateful!
However, we understand from the ministry of health that a total of 439 individuals are still under institutional quarantine, while 610 contacts to the confirmed cases are under follow up. This means that we are not yet out of danger- although we are on a good track to. As we head into the Easter holidays, we should not let our guards down and send all the sacrifices made by everybody and these little successes we are celebrating today, down the drain.
We have been told that the Coronavirus easily spreads in crowded places; so let us all stay in our small nucleus families. Let us resist the temptation to spread and or gather the virus from outside our homes under the guise of Easter celebrations.
Like our President said, we are fighting a war- a war of life and death. Covid-19 knows no class, race, political or religious affiliation. This is the time to put all our efforts together behind our leadership. The war against the pandemic is one we will have to fight together because the longer the pandemic persists, the worse its effects will be.
It takes political decisiveness to lock down a country, but it takes doctors, nurses, sickbeds, testing kits, breathing machines, medical oxygen, plus large amounts of disinfectant, surgical masks, protective gear to yield more results from the lockdown. We therefore call upon government and all able-bodied individuals and organisations, to continue investing in vital healthcare systems, infrastructure and knowledge.
As OMPA, we pledge to continue dedicating time and resources to educate the masses- over 50% of whom rely on the internet for timely and updated news, by creating timely, accurate and truthful news.
UGANDA; LET US BE OUR BROTHER’S AND SISTER’S KEEPER -STAY HOME, STAY SAFE!

Online Media Publishers Association- Uganda (OMPA-U) brings together owners and journalists working in Uganda for 24 of Uganda’s leading online media houses. We are patriotic, but apolitical and non-profit-making.

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