Ebola prevention drives: Involvement of district leaders and political heads key

UNICEF supports Ebola preparedness and prevention campaign

Catherine Ntabadde
ebola preparedness and response
18 February 2019

Involving district leaders and political heads in the Ebola prevention drive has yielded results.

In Kasese and Kabarole, the authorities testify that engaging the leadership of the districts has strengthened coordination and preparedness efforts to keep Uganda free of Ebola. This has brought about ownership of the campaign and the leaders have been instrumental in the dissemination of Ebola prevention related messages to the population.

I chair the district Ebola taskforce meeting and we have been working together with different stakeholders at all levels within the district. As an RDC, I have airtime on radio stations and I have been able to talk about our joint efforts to prevent Ebola from coming to Uganda,

Lt. Joe Walusimbi, Resident District Commissioner, Kasese.

The Kasese District Health Officer Dr. Yusuf Baseka says that all personnel at the different district structures have been trained which has eased their engagement in the implementation of the Ebola preparedness and prevention activities.

It is very important to involve all the stakeholders in the prevention and control. The moment the community is not well informed, the infection can easily get to them and it would take us time to control. The district leaders and political heads have been going around to sensitize the masses

Using funds availed by UKaid, UNICEF through the district and Uganda Red Cross is supporting the government’s Ebola preparedness and prevention activities in the areas of risk communication and social mobilization, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Elkana Kakuzo, LC 3 chairman Karangura Sub County, Kabarole district revealed that the political leadership in the sub county is supportive of the preparedness efforts.

Karangura who joined the community for a dialogue further noted that such interventions and others like house-house sensitization sessions, music, dance and drama sessions, distribution of information, education and communication materials to the community have kept the population alert of Ebola. The community dialogue held at Kazinga Trading Centre was organized by Uganda Red Cross and Karangura Sub County.

“We are at a very high risk here. Our sub county is bordering Congo. We are also near a national park and the animals from Congo can easily interact with animals from the Ugandan side. We are sensitizing our communities not to eat dead animals or meat they are not sure of,” he added.

Dennis Mwesigye, Red Cross Kabarole Branch Manager says they have involved the district leadership in the different activities on Ebola preparedness and prevention and the leaders have always encouraged the population to practice what Red Cross teaches them and also share the messages consumed with relatives and neighbours both within Uganda and in DRC.

The Station Manager Messiah Radio Rev. Solomon Badaaki also noted that the religious leaders in Kasese district have been sensitizing their masses during the worshiping days. At the station, staff hold a lunch fellowship and during a UNICEF visit to the radio station offices, a session to talk about Ebola, how it is transmitted and how it can be prevented was conducted by Rev. Badaaki. Through its radio programmes, the presenters are encouraged to always share messages and knowledge about Ebola.