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Uganda engages communities in physical and mental health activities as part of the World Health Day Commemoration

The Ugandan Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and its partners carried out awareness-raising and community engagement activities to commemorate World Health Day in Uganda. In line with the theme "My health, my right," these activities included a public sports walk, mass screening for communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and a blood donation drive.

The event was organized at the WHO Country Office in Kololo, Uganda. It brought together the country's stakeholders, including government representatives, the UN family, development and implementation partners, and the media.

World Health is commemorated every 7th of April, this edition takes place just six years before the evaluation of countries' progress toward achieving universal health coverage, the Ministry of Health and WHO emphasized the need to strengthen collaborative efforts to support Uganda in ensuring equitable access to comprehensive health services.

"Ensuring that all Ugandans fully enjoy their right to health requires collaborative efforts from all sectors, partners, and communities under the one health approach," said Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda's Minister of Health. "It is my appeal that we all channel our energies towards achieving universal health coverage in Uganda," she added.

During the "Walk the Talk" public sports walk, participants were encouraged to engage in activities that promote physical and mental health. With support from the STOP TB Partnership, Victoria University Medical Centre, and Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, participants were screened for non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, as well as communicable diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, and tuberculosis.

Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative to Uganda, welcomed the country's progress in key healthcare areas. "Uganda has made significant progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, as well as new HIV infections by 40% between 2010 and 2022. These results are commendable, but further efforts are needed to ensure that all people in Uganda have access to integrated, person-centered health services," he said.

Doctor Yonas added that implementing the existing public health policies, strategies, and guidelines, improving efficiency in the use of resources, and promoting community empowerment and participation will accelerate Uganda's progress towards achieving universal health coverage.

Like many other countries, Uganda is constantly affected by public health emergencies, including the recent Ebola outbreak, COVID-19, and the current food insecurity in the Karamoja region. The country also faces socio-economic challenges that result in unequal access to comprehensive health services, with more than half of its population not fully covered.

WHO continues to work with its partners, mobilizing financial and technical resources to support the country in improving its health system to achieve Universal Health Coverage.


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).
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