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Strengthen Community-Level Public Private Partnerships for Effective Pandemic Preparedness

According to the World Health Organization, Uganda's health authorities declared an Ebola disease outbreak on September 20, 2022.

Strengthen Community-Level Public Private Partnerships for Effective Pandemic Preparedness

According to the World Health Organization, Uganda’s health authorities declared an Ebola disease outbreak on September 20, 2022. This was the country’s first Ebola disease outbreak since 2012 and the first to be brought on by the Sudan virus (22nd Sep 2022).

Following confirmation of an Ebola case from Madudu Sub-County in Mubende District, central Uganda, the proclamation was made. The Ministry of Health said on September 25, 2022, that a total of 23 deaths, including five among the confirmed cases, had been reported from the districts of Mubende, Kyegegwa, and Kasanda.

The President revealed a localized strategy to increase active monitoring while addressing the nation, on top of other measures that had already been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19, like the closing of nightclubs and places of worship.

The Mubende and Kasanda areas will be under a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. In order to combat Ebola, public, private, and Boda Bodas are not allowed to travel in the Mubende and Kasanda areas. Anybody moving through Mubende and Kassanda are only allowed to do so with police approval; they are not permitted to stop or pick up people in the two areas, he added.

In order to predict, prepare for, and effectively handle such pandemics at the individual, community, and national level, it is imperative that we evaluate our degree of readiness in an all-compass public health investment.

We as a nation are aware of what to do. Uganda has extensive practical experience managing such pandemics and has provided technical assistance to other countries who have in the past had similar public health issues.

The real ironic query is, “How can we maintain such a public health system in a resource-constrained world we are in or, better yet, better still, to prepare for the inevitable — the next pandemic?”

The easiest to harvest is through partnerships. Although it seems simple, the question is whether we intend for this to function sustainably at the local level.

The number of localities with multihazard community action plans is what? How many school districts have multihazard recovery strategies? How much money do they have? How much of such funding originates from innovations in local public-private partnerships?

The World Health Organization recently conducted a High-Level Emergency Ministerial Meeting on Cross Border Collaboration for Preparedness and Response to Ebola Disease Outbreaks in Kampala, which brought together ministers of health and government representatives from nine African nations.

With communities at their core, well-structured public-private partnerships that harness the power of youth and strike a balance between soft support (trainings, mentorships, coaching, continuous medical education) and hardware support (logistics, personal protective equipment) encourage the stepping up of health surveillance systems and make it easier to communicate and coordinate a concerted effort.

I am pleased to see that academic institutions are beginning to respond to societal health concerns as a practising academic. Today’s research is closely related to important healthcare problems that are being confronted in our communities.

Nevertheless, this requires ongoing commitment. It is a reality that most of the knowledge applied during the COVID-19 pandemic was based on insights obtained from the money spent on research into HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria during the previous 20 years. So that we can learn to anticipate pandemics and get ready for them, we need to see more of this.

Information is a crucial component of the problem, to sum up. We must make sure that all information distributed to varied groups is consistent, unambiguous, and, whenever possible, in as many regional dialects as possible as we get ready for another epidemic. Platforms like social media and radio, which have the greatest consumption rates in Uganda, are crucial tools for ensuring that the right content reaches its intended audience.

Kanaahe, Brian Dr. PH is the Director of Disaster Risk Management at the Uganda Red Cross Society and is an enthusiast for the connection between public health and disasters.


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