On December 31, 2019 The Government of China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia of an unknown strain transmitted from person to person in Wuhan city, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was then identified and scientifically code-named COVID-19. On January 30, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic. Most of the world’s countries and territories have now reported at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, and the risk of continued spread between and within countries is very high.
In response to the COVID-19 global outbreak, the Ministry of Health – Uganda developed a National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan to respond to the evolving pandemic, modelling data and new evidence aimed at reducing the importation, transmission, morbidity and mortality as well as economic social disruption. The President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has on numerous occasions held nation addresses to inform Ugandans about the status of COVID – 19 while announcing measures to curb its further spread such as: closure of educational institutions, banning of mass gatherings, suspension of communal prayers, banning of public transport, prohibition of all passenger travel from coming into Uganda by air, land and sea except for cargo planes and trucks, closure of all non-food businesses (except medicines and farm inputs) in markets and other locations.
We have changed our strategy for our activities that don’t promote social distancing such as community dialogues, school activities and adopted door to door campaigns, use of social media for awareness on dangers and reporting of child marriage/teenage pregnancy, response to Covid-19 effects such as elimination of gender based violence, food aid, counseling and access to sexual and reproductive health services to people leaving with HIV/AIDs as well as financial contribution to the district taskforce on Covid-19 prevention.
Our call to action
- The general public needs to follow all the government guidelines in regard to the fight against Covid-19
- Government needs to include Civil Society Organizations as part of their response strategy to Covid-19 effects.
- Social- economic effect such as unemployment, access to sexual & reproductive health services, violence against children of Covid-19 to the people should be well addressed by stakeholders taking lead in the response to Covid-19