Uganda-UK Health Alliance e-seminar: Address by Ambassador Julius Peter Moto


Amb Julius Peter Moto. Courtesy photo.

https://bit.ly/corona-TND

Briefly:

  • Ambassador Julius Peter Moto is the Uganda’s envoy to United Kingdom (London) and Ireland
  • The seminar was attended by 80 persons and addressed by;
  •  Lord Popat, UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Uganda.
  • Government of Uganda has plans to develop industrial parks for health investments.
  • The virtual conference took place today, July 30, 2020

London, July 30, 2020: Under theme “Enhancing Healthcare Delivery Technology and Local Pharmaceutical Supply and Value Chain”, it is relevant to Uganda health strategies under Universal Health Coverage under The Third National Development Plan (NDPIII) 2020/21—2024/25 in which government promises to “increase average household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans,” has replaced NDPII that sought to achieve “competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth”.

Aforementioned and below were Ambassador Moto’s address, verbatim:

Due to sound macroeconomic policies by the Government of Uganda at the backdrop of peace and tranquillity for the last three decades, Uganda’s economy, that was completely destroyed from 1971 to 1986 due to bad governance and wars, is now set to rebound in all sectors.  Growing by an average of 6% for the last 10 years, Uganda’s economy is like an A380 aircraft on a runway, about to take off and very soon will be airborne.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Uganda’s economy was expected to grow by 6.3% in the 2018/19 (July-June) fiscal year, slightly higher than the 2018 rate, helped by robust activities in all sectors including manufacturing and construction. Due to covid19, Uganda’s growth trajectory was badly hit and for the 2020/21 fiscal year it is projected to grow by 3.5%.

Government of Uganda welcomes investors in the health sector to take advantage of a large regional market in East Africa Community and COMESA, sound macro-and microeconomic policies and political stability we have enjoyed for the last 35 years under the leadership of President Museveni.

Investment opportunities exist in the manufacture of industrial grade sugar for the pharmaceutical industries; in making medical equipment and supplies, in construction of health care facilities and transportation. Uganda large deposits of minerals that could be processed into pharmaceutical inputs, she has a large base of trainable manpower in health sector and is readily available for employment.

In 2008, the Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with the East, Central and Southern African Health Community, organised the first ministerial high-level dialogue on e-health and was hosted by the Seychelles Government.

This ministerial dialogue and a subsequent international e-health workshop held in Kenya in 2009, identified the need for e-health policies and strategies, for more information on national and regional e-health initiatives, as well as the need for adequate skills in preparing e-health proposals. Uganda was keen to embrace e-health and started to pilot e-health, while learning from members of the commonwealth who have rolled out the program.

Government of Uganda has embraced the use and application of ICT to facilitate socio-economic development. The mainstreaming of ICT is included in the Uganda vision 2040, National Development Plans III and NRM ruling party manifesto.

ICT for Universal Health Coverage policy is managed under the Ministry of Health working together with the Ministry of ICT and Uganda Communications Commission to harmonise service provision and avoid monopoly, waste and duplication.

Under the e-health policy, interested service providers are required to register their health applications for technical assessment by the government. These applications may include one or a combination of:

•             materials management systems,

•             logistics and supplies or equipment management systems,

•             patients accounting or billing systems,

•             staff scheduling systems, staff management systems.

All registered health applications should support the Ministry of Health technical program namely

•             Uganda National Program on immunisation

•             Uganda Sanitation fund

•             Uganda AIDS control program

•             Uganda Guinea worm eradication programs

•             National Malaria Management programs

•             TB / Leprosy control programs,

•             And virus research & management programs for Ebola and now corona virus.

Like any initiatives, the health program of Uganda shall face challenges that need to be overcome through planning, reviews and training while we learn from it.

The Uganda internet market is dominated by mobile internet. According to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) sector report of 2019, it shows the country’s internet penetration now standing at 37.9%. With over 23 million internet users, a majority being mobile phone users.

This is a growing trend compared to 2009 when there were less than 3 000 000 internet users. Millions of Ugandans shall benefit from a fast and affordable internet connectivity country wide.

English is the most common language used on the internet. Not all persons who handle a smart phone have a good command of English language. Apps or animations should be developed in local languages to overcome these challenges.

Government has continued to train staff to embrace e-health, and activities in health should be synchronised to avoid duplication and waste.

Government of Uganda has plans to develop industrial parks for health investments.

The seminar was attended by 80 persons and addressed by Lord Popat, UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Uganda, Hon Dr Michael Bukenya, Chair of Uganda Parliament committee on Health, Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health.


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