The First Uganda National Field Epidemiology Conference held in Kampala

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Makerere University School of Public Health working in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) organised the first national conference on field epidemiology. The one-day conference featured presentations by fellows on the Public Health Fellowship Programmes; a joint initiative by the three institutions. The one-day conference was held at Golf course Hotel in Kampala.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye said that the Ministry of Health appreciated the contribution of the programme to capacity building for surveillance. He added that the Ministry of Health and the country, broadly, has made strides of immense proportions in the area on Surveillance. He said the Ministry has established surveillance systems and is able to get reports on time. He added that recently as part of the Ebola preparedness plan, the Ministry of Health has given out motorcycles and vehicles to all districts. Another achievement in the area of surveillance is the tremendous improvement in the national sample transportation network.

He however noted that coordination is still wanting in aspects of financial and technical response. He shared that the Ministry of Health is putting together a National Public Health Institute which will help support easier response to epidemics and will have staff within the districts. Another development he mentioned is the possibility of the creation of the Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance which will create more opportunities to be able to respond effectively to epidemics.

He thanked the School of Public Health for its contribution to policy making by making evidence available. He also thanked CDC for the capacity building support which has contributed to Uganda’s high ranking in the area of Global Health Security.

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