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Ministry calls for enforcement of social distancing measures

By Geoffrey Mutegeki

Added 29th May 2020 05:40 PM

“The pictures of people moving and mingling as if it is normal is very worrying. We need to see people social distancing because the disease is very deadly, infectious and still with us,” Atwine said.

Ministry calls for enforcement of social distancing measures

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine (L) addressing the press after receiving a donation of 6,000 packs of sanitary pads from MTN Uganda. Looking on is Rhona Arinaitwe, the senior manager communications and public relations at MTN Uganda. Photos by Geoffrey Mutegeki Araali

“The pictures of people moving and mingling as if it is normal is very worrying. We need to see people social distancing because the disease is very deadly, infectious and still with us,” Atwine said.

COVID-19 | REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH | HYGIENE 

Following the partial easing of the COVID-19 lockdown in Uganda, whereby some businesses have been allowed to operate and private cars allowed back on the road, there are worries of increase in the spread of COVID-19 due to faulting of social distancing measures.

Several people, especially in downtown Kampala and other busy areas, are no longer exercising social distancing, which is one of the key measures to prevent COVID-19.

Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Diana Atwine says it is a worrying development that needs to be swiftly handled.

"The pictures of people moving and mingling as if it is normal is very worrying. We need to see people social distancing because the disease is very deadly, infectious and still with us," Atwine said.

She called upon organization charged with enforcing social distancing measures to act on all those faulting on the guidelines.

"We can't do everything as the ministry of health. So, we call upon people charged with ensuring social distance in markets, and other areas to act," Atwine said

She made the call on Friday, after receiving a donation of 6,000 packs of sanitary pads from MTN Uganda.

 
The pads are to be distributed to female COVID-19 suspects in quarantine centres and treatment centres across the country.

Many women who are in quarantines centres and treatment centres often find it difficult to access menstrual hygiene commodities since the government does not provide them.

"Many women in these sites cannot access these facilities since they can't move and in most cases are taken there when not prepared."

She notes that the lack of sanitary pads has been a big issue, which even parliament was talking about the other day.

"We don't have them in our facilities, which has become a bit of a problem, but we are grateful to MTN, which has thought about these women," Atwine said.

As of May 27, there were 281 people in quarantine centres of which 37 were females and 247 males.

Rhona Arinaitwe, the Senior Manager Communications and Public relations at MTN Uganda noted that the donation is part of the company's contribution to the dignity of women in the fight against COVID-19.

"We understand that these women are limited in terms of movement and cannot access sanitary pads.  We hope these pads will ease their stay in these quarantines and help them live in dignity," Arinaitwe said.

She noted that periods do not stop for pandemics and thus the need for women to be supported.

The pads will be distributed to 65 quarantine sites in 54 districts and all treatment centres at regional referral hospitals.

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