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Minister decries dirtiness among medics

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 8th November 2019 08:39 PM

Aceng said discussions should move from cholera outbreaks to telling people to take personal responsibility in ensuring that their homes and the environment around them are clean.

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Diana Atwiine Permanent Secretary Ministry of health (left) interacting with Jane Ruth Aceng Minister of health interacting during a national dialogue on investing in health promotion at serena hotel on November 8, 2019. Photo by Nancy Nanyonga

Aceng said discussions should move from cholera outbreaks to telling people to take personal responsibility in ensuring that their homes and the environment around them are clean.

HEALTH  

KAMPALA - Medics are looked upon as epitomes of hygiene. Calling them dirty is incredulous, and this is exactly what the Minister of health did.

While speaking at a breakfast dialogue on health promotion and disease control at Serena hotel, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed how dirty medics residing at the staff quarters are.

“Those health workers who stay in the staff quarters are dirty. When you go there, you will find overgrown grass. The grass is taller than you, there are no pathways and in the compound, you will find potatoes peelings, matooke peelings, cassava peelings……,” she said to the shock of people attending the event.

“Has the medical school stopped teaching people hygiene and disease prevention? I remember during our time we were taught to be hygienic,” she wondered.

  obinah ukwago hair health development partners onus egegn oldemariam  ountry representative to ganda and ane uth ceng inister of health interacting during a national dialogue on investing in health promotion at serena hotel on ovember 8 2019 hoto by ancy anyonga (L-R) Robinah Lukwago Chair health development partners, Yonus Tegegn Woldemariam WHO Country representative to Uganda and Jane Ruth Aceng Minister of health interacting during a national dialogue on investing in health promotion at Serena hotel on November 8, 2019. Photo by Nancy Nanyonga

 
She made the revelation of an example of people’s failure to take responsibility for their health, which she says is key to disease prevention in the country.

She noted that it’s because of this laxity in personal healthcare that the country is still experiencing diseases like cholera and diarrhea.

Aceng said discussions should move from cholera outbreaks to telling people to take personal responsibility in ensuring that their homes and the environment around them are clean.

She appealed to those seeking votes for political offices to use their time in communities to tell people the need to build latrines, wash hands and clean their compounds as a measure to prevent disease outbreaks.

The breakfast meeting was organised by the ministry and a host of other development partners such as PATH finder, WHO, UNICEF, Living Goods, and Brac, to announce the 10 commitments made during the conference, towards enabling Uganda to achieve a Universal Health Coverage.

The dialogue was attended by representatives from health-based non-state organizations, donors and the ministry of health.

The dialogue themed ‘investing in health promotion and disease prevention to achieve universal health coverage, is a culmination of the two-day inaugural health promotion and disease prevention conference that took at Speke Resort Hotel, Munyonyo.

Dr. Diana Atwiine, the Ministry’s permanent secretary said that the fight against lifestyle diseases also needs to be brought on board if Uganda is to achieve universal health coverage.

She noted that the treatment and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has become expensive. Therefore, there is a need to shift from curative care to prevention.

Benjamin Sensasi, a health promotion officer at World Health Organisation said that to fight NCDs government needs to learn from the example of Thailand which puts restrictive taxes on carbonated beverages, sugar, and tobacco and then used the money to promote health and disease prevention.

He said through the taxes, Thailand has been able to collect annual revenue of $120m (about sh444b). This money, he said, is then used to conduct social mobilization campaigns to address NCDs.

Sensasi said Thailand also has a month where the whole country abstains from alcohol in order to promote healthy lifestyles.

 

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