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Health Minister orders intensified risk communication in Elegu

Health Minister Ruth Aceng visited Elegu border, the border between Uganda and South Sudan to assess the COVID-19 response activities. PHOTO via @JaneRuth_Aceng

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has ordered Amuru leaders to intensify risk communication and community engagement in response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Elegu.

The Minister who was assessing the Amuru district COVID-19 taskforce response activities on Friday was appalled by the congestion of truck drivers at the Uganda – South Sudan border in Elegu.

On a daily basis, between 300 to 1,000 cargo trucks are cleared by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the immigration department at Elegu border post on a continuing journey to South Sudan. However, the Minister observed that there is laxity among the border community who need adequate and timely knowledge about the threats posed by the global killer pandemic.

She further divulged that the mass sensitization should also include truck drivers who need constant reminders about the contagion because they hardly have time to digest and internalize alert messages.

Dr Aceng also implored the taskforce to invest in the Village Health Team (VHT) members by equipping them with megaphones for effective community mobilization and sensitization against COVID-19.

Due to an influx of cargo truck drivers, the District Health Officer Dr Patrick Olwedo noted that Elegu remains one of the hotspot border entry points posing great risks of COVID-19 infections, HIV/AIDS transmission and Tuberculosis (TB) among others.

According to Dr Olwedo, since April 18 when the district started screening for COVID-19 at the border, three truck drivers who had tested positive for the virus were intercepted and evacuated to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital for treatment.

He added that the district has responded to 3,897 suspected cases of patients and their samples were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute Entebbe – UVRI for analysis.

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