KAMPALA — The government of Uganda, under the Ministry of Information and National Guidance have moved to stop misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic which has left many countries around the world struggling with their health systems and economies.
Citing the danger that wrong information could cause in an already dire situation, the Ministry Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire has said they will over the next three weeks work with their counterparts in the Health docket so demystify the myths around COVID-19.
In a press release to journalists on Thursday afternoon, Mr Bagiire said that the two ministries collaborate with Germany foundation, the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) to assemble experts who will address pertinent issues around the science of COVID-19 and the danger of misinformation in a pandemic.
More so, mental health experts will also address Ugandans on coping with anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.
Medical professionals will facilitate webinars which will be broadcast live on national television station UBC as well as on partner Social Media channels.
Ugandans will also be able to connect through the Zoom online application.
“The aim of the partnership is to allow citizens to interact with experts and get a better context of the pandemic and government’s efforts to protect them against COVID-19,” Mr Bagiire said.
He explained that government targets to allow citizens access science-based information while enabling them to engage with experts.
KAS country representative in Uganda ans South Sudan, Mathias Kamp said it is paramount to join hands with government efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“The collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance reflects KAS’ goal to contribute to informed dialogue to curb the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Health ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine hailed the partnership as a timely intervention that will allow ordinary citizens to understand key issues around the management of the pandemic.
“The success in continuous community engagements and to appreciate the disease is not an ordinary one. It is a global war and we must fight it together if we are to succeed,” she said.
According to Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health Ministry spokesperson, the first Webinar will bring together experts to speak about the science of COVID-19.
The Webinar which will take place this Saturday, 23 May at 4pm will feature Makerere University’s Pauline Byakika, Uganda Virus Institute Executive director, Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director public health and environment at KCCA, Dr Daniel Okello, World Health Organisation country representative in Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn and Dr Atwine herself.