KAMPALA – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has congratulated the Government of Uganda on their efforts to fight Covid-19.
Dr. Doreen Mulenga, UNICEF Representative in Uganda said Uganda’s response to Covid-19 and the successes registered need applause as the world battles with the virus and the effects of the Pandemic.
“In navigating this daunting situation, the United Nations Children’s Fund wishes to congratulate the Government of Uganda for its exemplary leadership in managing the COVID-19 response,” said Dr Mulenga.
Dr Mulenga was on Wednesday, May 13 speaking during a the handover of UNICEF’s support that was in form of financial, material, supplies and technical contributions to the Government of Uganda and partner organizations in the fight against Covid 19.
Dr Mulenga noted that as the number of COVID-19 cases increase in Uganda, so do the needs of children and their families. The most vulnerable children – such as those affected by poverty, exclusion or family violence – are facing even greater risks.
He revealed that this support is aligned with the National COVID-19 Response Plan and that UNICEF would continue to support the Government to keep children healthy and well nourished; to reach families with clean water and sanitation; to keep children learning from their homes; to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation; and to support refugee children and host communities.
“Children are less likely to get sick from the virus, but we must act now so they will not be bearing the brunt of the long-term impacts of this crisis and as the global situation evolves, UNICEF continues to support the Government of Uganda in preventing and containing COVID-19 while taking this opportunity to build back better,” said Dr Mulenga.
She disclosed that within the education sector, UNICEF will also continue to actively support the Ministry of Education and Sports with distance learning opportunities for children who cannot access school.
Dr Mulenga said by working together, we can ensure COVID-19 does not threaten social and economic development for a long time to come and help make families and communities more resilient.
“And this starts with resisting the temptation to deprioritize investment in our future. In fact, we must do the opposite – taking this opportunity to build back better; investments in education, child protection, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation will reduce the damage caused by COVID-19 and avoid future crises,” she explained.
She explained that the costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may persist throughout their lives adding that they are also things we can fix
The agency is also involved in the provision of mental health and psychosocial support to children and families who have been directly affected by COVID-19 and ensure that parents have access to knowledge and information around parenting and child protection concerns in the context of COVID-19.
UNICEF has also supplied nearly 12,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, and boots) to support health workers in various districts throughout the country.
“We have also supplied soap, hand-washing facilities, and some 17,000 kg of chlorine to be used in 17 regional referral hospitals and health facilities for infection control,” said Ms Proscovia Nakibuuka Mbonye, the UNICEF Communication Officer.
She explained that as an organization funded entirely by voluntary donations, UNICEF relies on support from the private sector as a core source of income and that during emergencies, that need is even greater and more urgent.
“UNICEF is grateful for the generous support of donors and partners and hopes to mobilize additional resources of US$ 15 million to slow the spread of COVID-19 and minimize its impact on children, while supporting children’s access to learning, health, nutrition, and protection services during this unprecedented time,” added Ms Nakibuuka.
She noted that COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to people everywhere – so UNICEF stands united, with one clear promise to all people in Uganda: we will get through this together, for every child.
A report from UNICEF dated 13 May says that with the aim of increasing awareness about the pandemic and prevent further spread, UNICEF is also supporting the production, procurement and distribution of nearly three million information, education and communication materials through audio mobile vans, along with airing of radio spots and talk shows in 30 local languages.
Ministry of Health records indicate that Uganda registered its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on 21 March and the numbers have continued to increase and by 13 May, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in had risen to 126.
According to ministry of health, confirmed cases of Covid 19 are 126, recoveries are 55, individuals discharged from institutional quarantine are 861 and individuals tested are 61,460 while the deaths still remain at 00.
The UNICEF support included; health equipment, WASH supplies, communication materials and technical, financial and human resource support to Respond, to Recover and to Reimagine
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children to the benefit of all children, everywhere.