On 7th June 2021, the UN Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Private Sector Foundation for Uganda have organized a virtual emergency Round Table on COVID-19 with participation of the Ministry of Health, UN Country Team, Member States, development partners, private sector and CSO/NGOs.
The meeting aimed to discuss the current status of COVID-19 pandemic globally and in the country and present the UN COVID-19 Resurgence Plan aligned to the National COVID-19 Resurgence Plan.
The Ministry of Health and WHO presented current status of COVID-19 pandemic national and global and in the country and presented the UN COVID-19 Resurgence Plan aligned to the National COVID-19 Resurgence Plan (12 months). The UN COVID-19 Resurgence Plan includes health focused life-saving interventions for the affected people in the next 3-6 months.
The private sector led by PSFU Chairman presented the efforts and contribution made previously through the Tugobe Corona Campaign to promote awareness of SoPs; donations presented financially and in-kind to Government to support medical relief and supplies; and testing. The private sector encourages partnerships to ensure that we work collectively to raise awareness of SoPs, as well as create sustainable solutions such as establishing facilities to produce vaccines and testing requirements.
Through bringing various stakeholders into the meeting, it helped to both discuss the emergency status of COVID-19 pandemic and also elaborate on initiatives that both development partners and private sector can provide. Some of the key highlights of the discussions included:
- Key COVID-19 emergency needs include adequate oxygen supplies and facilities; Uganda’s ability to produce vaccines and testing locally; provision of rigorous medical care for the severely and critically ill; institution of robust public health measures to limit transmission rates in the communities and among the most vulnerable populations; support for vaccination activities and testing among others
- Prevention, awareness raising, and risk communications remain critical priorities
- Issues of the accountability for COVID-19 response in 2020 were raised
- Based on the advice from the Administrator of the Donations fund the priorities have been agreed upon as follows; procurement of 282 double cabin pickups destined to the districts to facilitate the district task forces; construction of two blood banks in Soroti and Arua; and construction of 3 border shelters
- Questions were raised the level of the preparedness for any potential emergency
- It was clarified the GoU financing in the medium term is within the comprehensive plan – but not covering the emergency response
- It was recommended to place a timeframe for the emergency requirements as immediate emergency needs
- Longer term priorities are in the resurgence need to understand what is immediate and what is medium term
- How can we engage youth to speak, need platforms for peer-to-peer collaboration
- Participation and ownership of messages
- Include messages which demonstrate benefits of good nutrition; this can be included in the SoPs
- Need to build on lessons learned on risk communications and community engagement last year