Thursday, 18 October 2018

UVRI in the Press - 2013


Shs1 billion released for health staff salary

                                                                        Sunday Monitor, June 9, 2013 
By Patience Ahimbisibwe

In Summary

The delays was a result of under budgeting after the ministry used up its entire wage bill.


The government has released Shs1.7 billion supplementary budget to pay health workers who had not received their salaries since April. Dr Samuel Ssenyonga Kyambadde, the ministry’s under secretary, said the money would cater for salaries until the end of the financial year.

Dr Kyambadde said the problem had risen after they paid staff of Uganda National Health Research Organisation (UNHRO) and Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) using the mainstream wage bill. “It was realised that there was under budgeting. However, this was after the ministry had used up its entire wage bill, making government unable to pay the staff for the last two months,” Dr Kyambadde told the Sunday Monitor.

He added: “UNHRO and UVRI staff were supposed to be paid using their account but they continued to withdraw from the mainstream ministry wage leaving theirs intact. We identified the problem and we have got a supplementary budget.”

This is not the first time civil servants are affected. 
Some teachers and tutors in primary teachers’ colleges have endured months of non-payment after it emerged that there was a problem during the budgetary planning process that caused a shortfall of funds for wages.
In a February 22 letter to chief administrative officers and town clerks, the Ministry of Public Service acting Permanent Secretary, Ms Adah K. Muwanga, said tutors in various would not be paid until July.

“It has been established that the funds allocated to the wage bill in respect to the district tertiary institutions for your district local government are insufficient to cover the salary payments from January to June 2013,” the letter reads in part.

“This is to inform you that this ministry (of Public Service) and Ministry of Finance are working closely to ensure that supplementary funding is provided to facilitate payments of the affected staff,” Ms Muwanga said. The health sector has in the recent past been facing various challenges, including blood shortage across the country, blamed on poor blood donation culture and shortage of kits.



Uganda: Why Aids Is Still a Problem

East African Business Week, February 2, 2013 

By Samuel Nabwiso

Kampala — Uganda was one of the countries in Africa that were recognized for fighting HIV /AIDS, a disease which was discovered in the early 1980s.

The scourge is one of the deadly diseases that have claimed many lives of people in the last three decades. It's because the country has not carried out enough research on how the disease can be controlled as compare to other diseases.

It is what is attributed to the upward trend in the number of Ugandans suffering from HIV/AIDS. At its highest peak, HIV/AIDS prevalence was as high as 30 percent (adult Ugandans who had the virus) tested at some antenatal sites.

This was driven by bad behaviors like having sex with more than two partners, transmission of the virus from mother to children TMTC and many other factors this led the Government to think twice and comes up with strategic interventions aimed at mitigating the spread of the disease

In 1986, President Yoweri Museveni spearheaded a mass education campaign promoting a three-pronged AIDS prevention message: abstinence from sexual activity until marriage; monogamy within marriage; and condoms as a last resort.

The message became commonly known as ABC: Abstinence, be faithful, use a condom if A and B fail. This message also addressed the high rates of concurrency, which refers to the widespread cultural practice of maintaining two or more sexual partners at a time.

Mass media campaigns also targeting this practice included the "Zero-Grazing" and "Love Carefully" public health messages in the 1990s.

This created good environment for the government to fight AIDS in collaboration with other interventions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 41,000 women received Preventing Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services in 2001.

Uganda was the first country to open a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) clinic in Africa called AIDS Information Centre and pioneered the concept of voluntary HIV testing centers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"When the Government introduced such preventive mechanism the number of children born with the virus reduced at good rate.


Uganda: Health Ministry Declares Luweero District Ebola Free

January 16, 2013

By Ronald  Musoke

The health ministry has today (Jan.16) declared an end to the Ebola outbreak that was reported in Luweero District last November.

The announcement follows completion of the mandatory 42 days of the post- Ebola surveillance countdown period which is a prerequisite of the World Health Organization (WHO) requiring any affected country to monitor the Ebola situation for a specific period before finally declaring an end to the outbreak.

An Ebola outbreak was declared on November 14 in the central Uganda district after receiving confirmation from the Uganda Virus Research Institute that two people from the same family in Kakuute village in Nyimba sub-County had died of Ebola.

According to the health ministry statement, the announcement of the outbreak came a month after Uganda had declared an end to the Ebola epidemic in Kibaale District and three weeks after another outbreak of Marburg was confirmed in Kabale and Ibanda districts in western Uganda.

During the Luweero outbreak, seven cases were reported in which nearly 90% of the victims were relatives living in the same sub-County as the index case.

Dr. Christine Ondoa, the health minister said during the function to declare the end of the outbreak all structures previously set up to contain outbreaks in various districts were still operational to combat any potential risks.

She said the trained health workers are still actively watching the situation, the laboratory system at the UVRI is still operational while the national and district taskforces are all on the alert to watch out for any emerging threats.

The statement noted that the ministry's close working relationship with other partners was crucial in the containment of the epidemic because of the effective leadership and coordination of the response activities by the national and district task force.

The WHO country representative, Dr. Joaquin Saweka, said WHO is fully committed to supporting the ministry to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the recent viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks that will inform response to future outbreaks.



Ebola suspected in Mubende district

The New Vision, January 11, 2013

By Francis Kagolo 

MUBENDE - Health state minister Sarah Opendi and other senior ministry officials dashed to Mubende hospital Friday morning following suspicions of an Ebola outbreak in the area. 

Mubende district health officer (DHO), Dr. Wilson Mubiru said two five-year-old children were admitted on Thursday night while vomiting blood – a symptom that was hurriedly linked to Ebola. 
The children were from different families.
Earlier rumours had put the number of patients admitted at the hospital to four and that three had died on spot. 
However, Mubiru and the hospital director Dr. Edward Nkrunziza told New Vision online that there were only two patients. 
Besides, the doctors have since called for calm, saying that it was unlikely for the patients to be Ebola cases. 

“We have forwarded blood tests to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe. Although we are yet to get the results, we highly doubt whether this is Ebola,” said Dr. Mubiru. 
Save for vomiting, Mubiru said the patients showed no other Ebola-like symptoms. 
Dr. Nkrunziza also explained that the patients’ condition had “significantly improved” at around 10am on Friday. 
The development comes as the health ministry is preparing to declare Luweero district Ebola-free on January 16, if no new cases are registered in the area. 
About five people died of Ebola in Luweero late last year. 
The declaration will follow the completion of the 42 days countdown period since the last patient was discharged from the isolation Centre.
The ministry has also just declared Kabale and Ibanda districts free of Marburg, another infectious viral disease. 
Health ministry Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago said his ministry is working with the Environment and Wildlife ministries to ensure that the animals and birds that spread both Ebola and Marburg disease are wiped out.

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