Kampala 3 January 2019:- The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO DG), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has lauded Uganda for the Ebola preparedness response mounted, so far, in the high-risk districts of the country.
Dr Tedros said that Uganda’s disease outbreak response system is recognized globally for its effectiveness. He commended the government for the support rendered during the ongoing vaccination exercising, saying, “The vaccination exercise will go a long way in saving the lives of frontline health workers and health care workers and we are really grateful for the government’s commitment and support.”
He made these remarks at a meeting held at the Office of the Prime Minister where he met key government dignitaries including; the Prime Minister- Right Honourable Dr Ruhakana Rugunda; Minister of Foreign Affairs- Hon Sam Kuteesa; Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs- Hon Bright Rwamirama; Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary-Dr Diana Atwiine and other government officials.
He highlighted the appreciation by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of Uganda for the support in the ongoing outbreak response especially regarding capacity building in Infection Prevention and Control and cross-border screening and surveillance.
Dr Tedros emphasized the need to amplify Primary Health Care (PHC) in Uganda in order to prevent diseases among the population. He added that health promotion and prevention of communicable and Non-communicable disease are key to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Prime Minister of Uganda, Right Honorable Dr Ruhakana Rugunda appreciated WHO’s endless support to Uganda, saying, “Whatever Uganda has managed to achieve in public health is because of the general leadership of WHO.”
He noted, with concern, the ongoing Ebola outbreak in DRC, and commended WHO and partners in the response for braving the harsh conditions to save lives. “Your hard work and sacrifice do not go unnoticed”, he said.
Dr Ruhakana also highlighted the importance of PHC to Uganda. “We have no choice but to support PHC. It is the key to tackling many of the afflictions we are getting”, he said. He committed the government to achieve UHC in Uganda.
In the wake of the Ebola outbreak that is affecting the Eastern part of DRC close to the Uganda-DRC border, Uganda is implementing a series of activities to ensure that the country is protected from the Ebola outbreak or able to control the outbreak in case of a confirmed case in Uganda. These include vaccination of frontline health workers, screening of travellers at the points of entry, risk communication and community engagement, enhanced surveillance including community-based disease surveillance and cross-border surveillance. Other activities include the collection and testing of blood samples from alert cases, capacity building for case management, psycho-social care and capacity building for safe and dignified burials.
The meeting was attended by government officials, the media and officials from WHO headquarters and WHO Uganda country office.
“Let me also warn anybody who is involved or planning to engage in corruption, that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. I would like to stress that when President Yoweri Museveni described this term as Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo, he meant it and we are all following suit. Poor performance will not be tolerated” – Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the launch of NRM Manifesto Week, 11.05.2018).
I will go year by year, into Ministerial Policy Statements from the Office of the Prime Minister, to show the vast wasted expenses put into the system of this entity alone. Because he is addressing others, well aware, that his Ministry and Public Office is famous for its wastage, its ghosts and their methods of shady deals with business people. That is the reason for why Dr Rugunda is now the Prime Minister, as he had to take over from Amama Mbabazi, whose been on the top list of corrupt officials for years. So he is sort of wrong, saying the government will not tolerate corruption, that means he have to target himself and his own office.
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2014/15, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 276,2m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 945,5m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 303m. On government business, the PM needed UGX 239,000,000 Shillings on snacks!
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2015/16, the use of funds on Newspapers was UGX 212,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 873m. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 205,7m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 288m.
From the Office of the Prime Minister in the Financial Year 2016/17, the use of funds on Newspapers UGX 236,3m. On Photocopying it was estimated UGX 1,768bn. Welfare and Entertainment got UGX 182,2m. Special Meals and Drinks got UGX 378,7m.
I didn’t even look that hard into the MPS, but if I had, I am sure I could have found more pressing and questionable spending by the Office. Since they are spending on all sorts of projects, which could in hindsight just be on paper and not in reality. Because this OPM is known for ghost-projects, ghost-refugees and so-on. Therefore, the OPM and PM should be careful warning anyone else, when his own office is questionable a best and isn’t having oversight of it.
Therefore, when PM Rugunda sends out warning, maybe he should use less funds on snacks, special foods and also on Newspapers. I doubt he and his fellas read it that much, they should be preoccupied with the projects in Northern Uganda, the Youth Livelihood Projects and whatnot that is under his office portefolio.
And by the way, the photos of the PM dropping cash-in had while campaigning for the General Election 2016, doesn’t make him the stature of confidence in the department of trust and transparency. As who knows where that came from and what account they accounted it in. Nevertheless, this the NRM way. Peace.
Well, again the lectures has to start, as the man whose says he is about free press and democracy, he has to call in a meeting to lecture them how to cover him. Not to attend a meeting of sorts, where the standing of the nation, no no, that is another bargain for another day. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will tell stories of bravery from 1986 and beyond. He will express discontent, where his own words are taken out of proportion, because his erratic mind and his stances is changing with the wind. It would have been better to just drop a report and show the reality, however, the President wants positive spin ala Softpower or Chimpreports and so on. He doesn’t want media who questions and finds faults. Because the President is never wrong, everyone else is!
“President Yoweri Museveni has summoned all media owners and managers in Uganda for a meeting at State House Entebbe. The meeting was confirmed by the presidency in a brief message to journalists. “HE the President is due to meet media owners and managers today at Entebbe State House,” reads a message from Museveni’s press handlers. Accordingly, the agenda of the meeting is not yet clear, but inside sources hint on the fact that Museveni wants to dissuade the media from fanning conflicts between him and religious leaders as well as request for better coverage regarding the rampant cases of kidnap in the country” (Moses Namayo – ‘Museveni summons media owners’ 11.05.2018, Nilepost.co.ug).
Museveni has had a hard time with the media, he has closed radios, bullied newspapers and editors. That is why some of the most prominent reporters and notable writers are still in exile, not in Uganda anymore. Because they cannot stay there in fright of the penalties their writings will have. Everyone is supposed to praise every word coming out of the President mouth. Even when he is one week saying the priest and clergy are good folks, next week bashing them for connecting with politics and thirdly wondering why the clergy is silent doing nothing during the celebration of the martyrs?
That is just how the days goes by, and he expect everyone to tune into his message and his deluded beliefs. As he is the master and chief, the mastermind and the inventor of liberation, even as he keeps the whole republic as hostages to his rule. That is the magician who thinks he tricks everyone, but only tricks himself. President Museveni isn’t that bright or that smart, even the street smart, non-educated and the villager can see through it. That is why his own party officials was rebuked recently in Rukungiri.
So, don’t expect the fountain of honour to be regarding the media. It is all about himself and his agenda. That he needs to massage the message. There aren’t anything new, just that they need guidance to follow his memo and not think for themselves. That is the patriotic stance of the republic, to be on guard and follow the leader. If you don’t then your rights can be revoked. Peace.
“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).
Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:
“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).
Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.
When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.
So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.
We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.
He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.
Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.