BY UGANDA VANGUARD
ENTEBBE – President Yoweri Museveni has hailed United States of America for the continued role and support in combating viral diseases.
“The US has a strong Centre for Disease Control (CDC). During the first cases of Ebola in Uganda, we did not have the capacity to quickly diagnose the disease and we had to take it to Atlanta. The CDC also helped us build a modern laboratory where, within a few hours, samples are checked and confirmed. For that we are grateful,” he said.
The President was speaking during meeting with the visiting American Secretary of Health and Human Service, Mr. Alex Azar and his delegation, which called on him Tuesday 17th September 2019 at State House, Entebbe.
The US Secretary of Health and Human Services is in the region to assess the Ebola situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and how Uganda is controlling the disease from spreading at the border with the DRC.
Azar expressed happiness to note that Uganda has finest public health infrastructure saying he had the opportunity to visit the National Reference Laboratory that currently caters for the entire East African region, the Uganda Virus Institute and the Emergency Operation Centre.
At a joint press conference addressed by the President Museveni and Health Secretary Azar, Mr. Museveni commended United States of America for the long-term support to the AIDS programmes and other health concerns that see America spend over US$500 million every year.
He revealed that Uganda has been able to fight off Ebola and other diseases like HIV/AIDS because of the good primary and health communication that the government has with the people right from the grass roots.
“A government which has no linkage to the people is actually a public hazard to the community,” he said.
Azar noted that the US was able to fund Uganda in health projects because the of proven capabilities of the Uganda Ministry of Health for it has been able to put up good isolation and screening centers for Ebola. He reiterated that the powerful delegation of top medical doctors that he had come along with was a sign of the commitment to Uganda by US President Donald Trump.
Uganda Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Aceng Ruth, thanked the US Government for financial and technical support to the health sector in Uganda. She observed that Uganda was able to combat Ebola because of the support from the CDC and the vast experience that Uganda has in treating Ebola patients.
Meanwhile President Yoweri Museveni has received and held a meeting with former Kenya Prime Minister, Mr. Raila Odinga, who paid a courtesy call on him this afternoon at State House, Entebbe.
Mr. Museveni and his visitor discussed matters related to socio-economic as well as political developments in their respective countries.
The President informed his guest that under the National Resistance Movement Government, Uganda has registered systematic political growth characterised by affirmative action for marginalized groups like the women, youth and the disabled.
“By independence, Uganda had only three women Members of Parliament out of about 90 legislators in the House. When NRM came to power, we had to embrace politics of equality in favour of gender balance and sowed the seed of affirmative action in all systems. The country has 117 Districts and all have women representation in Parliament at District level. Today, Parliament has a big representation because of affirmative action. Women have competed with their male counterparts in constituency elections and win massively,” he said.
The President and Mr. Odinga also discussed issues pertaining to boosting agricultural crop production through the application of phosphates that are produced in Tororo to supplement compost and organic manure that is in use in Uganda as the country enjoys favourable climatic conditions of two rain seasons.