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Uganda participates in World Health Day celebrations by involving communities in physical and mental health initiatives

Apr 16, 2024 | Health | 0 comments

The Ugandan Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and various partners, marked World Health Day in Uganda with a series of activities centred around the theme “My health, my right.” These initiatives, aimed at raising awareness and engaging communities, included a public sports walk, extensive screenings for both communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and a blood donation campaign.

The event, held at the WHO Country Office in Kololo, Uganda, brought together a range of stakeholders, including government officials, representatives from the UN, development partners, and media personnel.

World Health Day, observed annually on April 7th, gains particular significance this year as countries approach the evaluation of their progress towards achieving universal health coverage in six years. Both the Ministry of Health and WHO underscored the importance of collaborative efforts to ensure equitable access to comprehensive health services across Uganda.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda’s Minister of Health, emphasised the necessity of collective action across sectors, partners, and communities, advocating for concerted efforts towards realising universal health coverage in the country.

The “Walk the Talk” public sports walk encouraged participants to prioritise activities that promote both physical and mental well-being. Supported by organisations like the STOP TB Partnership, Victoria University Medical Centre, and Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, attendees underwent screenings for various health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, as well as communicable diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis.

Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative to Uganda, commended the nation’s strides in key healthcare areas, noting significant reductions in maternal and child mortality and new HIV infections. However, he stressed the need for continued efforts to ensure integrated, person-centred health services for all Ugandans.

Dr. Yonas emphasised the importance of implementing existing public health policies, optimising resource utilisation, and fostering community involvement to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage.

Despite progress, Uganda faces ongoing health challenges, including recent outbreaks of Ebola and COVID-19, alongside food insecurity in regions like Karamoja. Additionally, socio-economic factors contribute to unequal access to healthcare, with a significant portion of the population lacking full coverage.

WHO remains committed to supporting Uganda, mobilising financial and technical resources to strengthen the health system and advance the goal of universal health coverage.

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