Last evening, Hon. Peter Ogwang the Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance addressed Parliament about the Ministry’s communication support plan for Uganda’s efforts to combat Covid-19.

Today, we reproduce his presentation to Parliament:
“I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to, on behalf of my Ministry, throw more light about communication support for Uganda’s efforts to combat COVID-19.

Honorable Members, as you are aware, COVID-19 is here with us and remains a threat to the people we represent. The number of cases confirmed by Ministry of Health (MoH) in Uganda now stands at 52.

Honorable Members, as you may be aware, COVID-19 spreads rapidly, yet it has no direct cure or vaccine to-date. And, as you may have noticed, its rate of spread is such that it can stretch and overwhelm facilities even in the most developed countries like the United States.
This means, Honorable Members, that in our case the most viable option is to halt the spread of COVID-19.
This requires, among others, intensive sensitization to ensure that messages about COVID-19, as approved by Ministry of Health (MoH) trickle down to the masses.

I this regard, as the coordinator for information dissemination, my Ministry has developed a comprehensive communication strategy to support Uganda’s response efforts towards COVID-19. Through the strategy, we seek to:

a. Continue educating the public about the nature/ symptoms of COVID 19.

b. Sensitise the public about the recommended prevention practices.
c. Improve information reach, particularly at the community level.

d. Inform the public about available COVID 19 support services.

f. Create reporting channels for those in need of COVID 19 support.

g. To have the public appreciate the

restrictions by GoU.

h. Obtain feed-back from the public about the COVID services being rendered.

Since the disease spreads a lot through interaction, our messages include social distancing, dis-infecting, avoiding crowding, avoiding touching soft parts of the body – eyes, nose and the mouth, among others.
We have been consulting and reviewing our delivery channels for messages about COVID-19.

Accordingly, we are going to use a mixture of tools to ensure optimal message reach. Accordingly, we shall mainly use radio, TV and social media platforms which people can access via electronic devices from their homes.
For TV and radio messages, we are going to record and disseminate COVID-19 messages based on voices of leaders, including Hon. Members of Parliament, Cultural Leaders, Religious Leaders, among others.

We shall similarly make use of on-line media publishing platforms and digital platforms like websites. For rural communities, we are going to engage Sub-County chiefs, who will use mega-phones to disseminate MoH approved messages in local languages, in their respective areas of jurisdiction, country-wide.

We shall also be coordinating live coverage on TV and radio, and conducting regular Government press conferences, to offer up-dates to provide the country with the latest information about COVID-19, as it becomes available.

We have similarly, deployed officers to operate toll-free lines, so as to provide information directly to our citizens, and take requests, particularly from those in urgent need of COVID- 19 support services.

I would like to thank you Hon. Members for your feed-back about our initial proposals. Your views have indeed, been considered, in completing our communication strategy for the COVID-19 response.

Honorable Members, COVID-19 remains a real threat to our people. With your support, we can make a difference. I am, therefore, seeking your support to enable us scale-up the necessary sensitization efforts.

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