Amidst electoral campaigns, UNICEF consolidated health and education interventions in eastern Uganda
Ensuring gains registered for children during Covid-19 are maintained
While the month of December 2020 was characterized by electoral campaigns in the run-up to the January 2021 general elections, this did not deter the UNICEF teams from implementing the agency’s agenda of protecting and promoting the wellbeing of the children, and with very encouraging results at that.
Across the whole country, especially the remote and less developed areas, no efforts were spared to ensure that the crucial health and educational interventions were implemented without interruption amid the charged political atmosphere. With fervent urgency, the teams ensured that the gains made in the struggle against Covid-19 as well as older health problems, the continuity of learning amidst the lockdown challenges - particularly the now nearly yearlong closure of schools- were not only maintained but also consolidated and as well maintained.
According to UNICEF Moroto Field Office December 2020 report, in the north eastern Karamoja sub-region, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities were installed in schools that did not yet have them. This will ensure that when the anticipated re-opening takes place, pupils will resume attending while complying with the Standard Operating Procedures for prevention of the spread of the coronavirus.
Correctly regarded as a hardship area that is still lagging the rest of the country in both economic and social development, Karamoja is still in great need of physical infrastructure. Investment in systems for provision of water is key even before children can observe sanitation standards. So in the same month of December, at least 26 sites for construction of boreholes were handed over in Moroto District to contractors to start work. Clean water will thus be available for all purposes when the schools reopen, in any case not later than March 2021.
Even as the schools were closed, with only the candidate classes having been allowed back, district level school monitoring was carried out at close of term two for examination classes.
Supervision of lower level district health teams was also done.
Moving southwards to Tororo still in the east, UNICEF supported ongoing work on fighting Gender-Based Violence (GBV) boosting it with psychosocial support which was provided to 191 children (majority female) and adults (majority male) in December. Preventive messages against GBV were also disseminated across the district using different media.
Case management was also supported in the district administration and the Uganda Police.
The month of December also saw UNICEF strengthening its support supervision to the District Health Teams for the betterment of their Covid-19 prevention work.