By Wilson Kamukono
Civil Society Organisations in greater Masaka have appealed to the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in government to come together for a collective fight towards prevention of COVID _ 19.
The appeal comes as the virus spreads to various countries in the globe latest being South Africa and other African countries.
The CSOs under their umbrella ‘Greater Masaka Human Rights Defenders’ which encompasses different civil society organisations from Greater Masaka and Mpigi made this concern during a press conference organised by the latter at Maria flo Hotel in Masaka on Monday.
According to Fredrick Bombo, the umbrella chairperson, the CSOs took interest after they discovered loopholes in the measures laid by Ministry of Health to contain the spread of COVI-19.
“Although Ministry of Health has issued guidelines on how to contain the spread of coronavirus which include washing hands with disinfectants they have not clearly specified which detergent?” he said.
Bombo questioned the method of communication the Ministry of Health is using wondering whether people in villages and those on Uganda’s porous borders are receiving information since the communication is disseminated on radios, TVs and in newspapers.
“We appeal for a collective effort of all stakeholders to reach our communities such educating village health teams (VHTS) and equipping them with requirements in bid to build their capacity to confront COVID-19 and equipping local leaders to disseminate Ministry of Health guidelines.”
Hajjati Shifa Katerega , the umbrella secretary wondered why the Ministry of Health has failed to decentralize measures of preventing the virus to communities but centralized the fight at Entebbe International airport when porous boarders are free entry and exit .
“Uganda is not far from COVI-19 since African countries have already reported cases which requires a serious intervention by using the Civil Society Organisations, Community Based organisations, local leaders and other stake holders to make the public alert and adhere to Ministry of health guide lines,”
She said at the adjacent Mutual board there is no even a jerrycan of water for washing hands although it is a centre of traders from so many countries and almost 80 percent of public places such as hotels , schools ,Markets and offices are barely implanting the Ministry’s guide lines of putting in place disinfectants.
Mr Habibu Kasimu Mugerwa , the umbrella coordinator asked for serious intervention by making the fight inclusive but not centering it on Ministry of Health .
“If the Ministry continues to center the fight at its helm we are likely to lose it,” he warned.