By Goodluck Musinguzi
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health has signed the third memorandum of understanding with the Kingdom of Tooro after Buganda and Busoga Kingdoms with aim of promoting disease prevention and health promotion in the region.
“We are focusing more on investing in conditions that favor less people falling sick than treating many people that fall sick. It is a more effective way of providing health care. We thank these Kingdoms for being vocal and aggressive on issues to do with health”, Dr Diana Atwine said.
The Ministry of Health team led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine and Director General Health Services, Dr Henry G. Mwebesa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom of Tooro to enhance disease prevention and health promotion in the region.
This partnership comes against the background that religious and cultural institutions are paramount in steering communities to adopt healthy lifestyles and behaviour change in order to have a healthy and productive population.
While addressing the delegation from Tooro, Dr Diana Atwine lauded King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV for his initiative to set up a School of Public Health in the region aimed at training and empowering communities to take responsibility for their health. It will among others, ensure people to test and treat to know their health status.
“We can see Tooro not just as the hub for tourism, but the hub for good health” Dr Atwine added.
She said “If we harness this goodwill with the kingdom, we can significantly reduce the disease burden in the Tooro region”
The Director General Health Services, Dr Henry G. Mwebesa appreciated the Kingdom for supporting a number of health projects and noted that signing the MOU will greatly improve service delivery in the region.
His Majesty Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV welcomed the partnership with the health sector to increase promote health, increase disease prevention and pledged his support and commitment to the sector.
Earlier, the team also held a meeting with the Queen Mother of the King of Tooro, Her Royal Highness, Best Kemigisa to strengthen partnership to address teenage pregnancies, maternal and child health in the region.
The Ministry is engaging the various cultural institutions across the country to strengthen health service delivery and improve health outcomes.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, and King Oyo of Tooro Kingdom, signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to end maternal deaths, malnutrition among children and to stop the transmission of HIV/Aids on Monday.
“As a ministry, we have recorded low percentage of children who have been immunised in Tooro Sub-region and an increase in the spread of HIV/Aids that we want to fight through engaging cultural institutions. We have kicked off this initiative with the signing of a MoU with the Buganda Kingdom, Busoga and now we are here in Tooro Kingdom for the same intervention,” Dr Atwine said.
The commissioner for health promotion and disease prevention, Mr Richard Kabanda, said the MoU will help to address the high malaria prevalence rate in the kingdom, which stands at five per cent.
Dr Atwine said the HIV/Aids prevalence rate in Kabarole District is still high at 10 per cent, which is higher than the national rate of 6.1 per cent. She said partnering with cultural institutions will help to disseminate information on disease prevention because many people believe in their cultural leaders.
“King Oyo has been an HIV/Aids ambassador and he has managed to sensitise the youth about the prevention of the spread of the disease. We want to engage the kingdom to disseminate the news,” Dr Atwine said.
King Oyo said he is optimistic the MoU will help to implement many interventions aimed at ending the disease burden.
“As a Kingdom, we have gazetted some land where we shall establish a specialised hospital like in Kitagwenda District and this will render better health services,” King Oyo said.
On 30th January 2020, Ministry of Health signed an MOU with Buganda Kingdom to guide enhancement of collaboration in strengthening disease prevention & health promotion in communities in Buganda and Uganda at large. We shall do the same with other cultural institutions.
On 28th February 2020, Dr. Diana Atwiine signed Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Busoga Kingdom at the Palace in Bugembe.
Busoga Kingdom promised to fight diseases in partnership with the Ministry of Health. HRH King Gabula IV presided over the signing of the MOU between Dr Diana Atwine, PS Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister Katikiro Muvawala.