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National Community Engagement Strategy for COVID-19 Response in Uganda

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Uganda Red Cross Secretary General Mr. Robert Kwesiga addressing the Press
at the launch of the Community Engagement Strategy , at Hotel Africana

Uganda Red Cross joins the Government of Uganda to launch the National Community Engagement Strategy for COVID-19 Response in Uganda.

Kampala – October 20th, 2020 By Irene Nakasiita – Coordinator Communications and Public Relations - URCS

On October 20th, 2020, the Government of Uganda launched the National Community Engagement Strategy for COVID-19 response to curb the spread of the Corona Virus in communities. Uganda is currently experiencing phase four of COVID-19 outbreak with widespread community transmission amidst low levels of adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs as guided by the Ministry of Health.

Through a consultative process, the government directed that the Community Engagement Strategy (CES) Sub Committee be established which has been merged with the Community Health Committee to form the National Community Engagement Strategy, chaired Prof. Omaswa. The Uganda Red Cross is a member of the National Taskforce and an implementing partner of the strategy.

While launching this strategy at a function organized by Uganda Red Cross Society and held at hotel Africana in Kampala on 20th October 2020, the Prime minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said the approach will ensure that all people in Uganda are aware, empowered and participate actively in the prevention and control of COVID-19 as both a duty and a right using the existing structures, systems and resources. “We shall be handing over the responsibility to control COVID-19 to individual Ugandans, households and communities. All stakeholders should ensure that this strategy which has worked in managing and handling other diseases like Ebola and HIV is effectively implemented.” The Premier added.

The strategy will be implemented by different government ministries including Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Defense as well as non-government agencies. Civil Society Organizations have also been brought on board through the Uganda Red Cross Society and the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST).

Prof. Francis Omaswa the chairperson of the CES subcommittee said that under this strategy, every village will be required to establish a village COVID-19 task force which will provide community based surveillance and case detection including deaths, Community case management including self-isolation, community based drug distribution and referrals as appropriate, community contact tracking and reporting among other roles.

“The task force which will be headed by the respective village chairpersons and councils will also include Village Health Team members one of whom will be a full time community health worker, a Uganda Red Cross Society officer at branch / community level, the parish chief, CDOs, Religious leaders, Schools representatives, health facility representatives, CSOs, volunteers and private sector among others” Said Prof. Omaswa.

Robert Kwesiga the Secretary General Uganda Red Cross Society one of the key partners said they will be part of the teams that will be coordinating the activities of this community engagement right from the district to the village level. Uganda Red Cross will also train all key players using the expertise from previous cases managed like Ebola and the IFRC Community Engagement Approach.

“Our managers at districts will work with the district health teams in coordinating the activities of this community engagement during training, monitoring and support supervision. Our volunteers are going to be part of these community engagement committees that will be responsible for real time sharing of information, education surveillance and making sure that if there are cases they are referred.” Said Kwesiga.

To date, Uganda has registered 10,788 COVID-19 cases, 7,066 recoveries and 97 deaths.


URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org


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