President Museveni has lauded the Ministry of Health with support from Xtraordinary media for recognizing outstanding individuals, entities, organizations, services, products, and programs in Uganda’s health sector.
This is according to a speech read for him by Her Excellency the Vice President Jessica Alupo during the Second Edition of the Heroes in Health Awards 2021 at Kampala Serena Hotel Friday night.
“This year, we celebrate this day in a new normal, but I am happy that we are alive and safe. COVID-19 affected the entire world. I thank the people of Uganda for obeying the guidance given by the Ministry of Health and the Scientists at the beginning of our struggle to fight and minimize the spread of this deadly virus. I continue to challenge our scientists to lead in sensitizing the wanainchi on COVID-19 and how to protect themselves. A healthy population is the cornerstone for improving people’s standards of living,” Museveni said.
He said the Heroes in Health Awards is a wonderful initiative and applauded the organisers of these awards for recognising the contribution of our health workers in ensuring that we enjoy a disease-free life.
In a special way, he congratulated all the health workers, health institutions and all groups that have received awards of excellence in various categories. “I thank you for offering distinguished service to the country in the health sector. I am glad that the second edition of the awards will pay homage to the dedicated and talented foot soldiers, practitioners, academicians, organizations and other sector partners, who dedicate their careers, time, life and resources to providing exemplary care, innovation and service to Ugandans countrywide.”
The health of Ugandans is a top priority of the NRM. Health is wealth. The NRM is credited for its effective handling of highly infectious diseases like Ebola, Marburg and the Coronavirus disease.
Museveni said he had to instruct Dr. Monica Musenero of these Epidemics to spear head efforts with other Ugandan scientists to use science to develop and manufacture vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, materials, tools and equipment to fight the current corona virus and future epidemics.
The public health strategy of the NRM Government has always been characterised by putting greater emphasis on disease prevention.
This involves mass mobilisation and awareness campaigns to equip the general public with crucial information on disease prevention and control.
Once the public is aware of the possible sources and causes of various diseases, it becomes possible to reduce the disease burden on our health care system. Everyone must become their own doctor and nurse in order to succeed in the fight against diseases.
“For example, through the vigorous mass immunisation campaigns we were able to kick the killer diseases of polio, measles, diphtheria, tuberculosis etc. out of Uganda. This emphasis on disease prevention has helped us to control the spread of malaria, cholera, etc. Ugandans are now more conscious of the health benefits of good hygiene and following health guidelines like drinking clean and boiled water, proper waste disposal, eating fully-cooked food, sleeping under a mosquito net, clearing bushes around homesteads etc.”
The vigilance of the NRM Government when it comes to disease control and prevention has been shown by our efficient handling of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We acted promptly to lockdown the country and to educate Ugandans on the dangers of the Coronavirus and how to stop its spread. As a result, Uganda has been spared the nightmare of witnessing mass deaths as was seen in other parts of the world.”
He said Government continues to invest in improving the health infrastructure across the country. It is the right of every Ugandan to access affordable and timely health care. Government will continue to ensure that health centres are well equipped and staffed to handle the health challenges of Ugandans.
“The new danger to the health of Ugandans is arising from the non-communicable diseases. We continue to witness an increase in life style diseases. Lifestyle diseases or Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) include; diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity and cancers. These are most prevalent in the urban areas where people have adopted behaviours which promote less body activity or exercise and eating fatty and processed foods and beverages.”
“The Non-Communicable Diseases are easy to handle through lifestyle changes. The Ministry of Health should intensify its health campaigns to teach people on the right diets for their bodies and the recommended forms of exercise for different categories of people. This will help us to counter the threat of these silent killers.”