Uganda Receives IT Equipment Worth Ugx 265 Million to Boost Disease Surveillance Capabilities at Cross Boarder Sites



In a landmark collaboration, through the IGAD coordinated initiative, IT equipment for disease surveillance amounting to 265 million shillings, (Euro 62,000) has been donated to Uganda, from the European Union (EU) and the German government, through the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The initiative, titled “EU Digital Solutions to Strengthen Disease Surveillance and Monitoring Systems for COVID-19 in the IGAD Region,” is coordinated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and implemented by GIZ.

Be ready to be counted for proper government planning

The equipment was presented the minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, and the state ministers of Health, for Primary Health Care and for General Duties at the ministry headquarters in Kampala on Wednesday.The ceremony witnessed by Nicolas Gonze, the European Union’s Head of Governance and social inclusion; Joshua Mokaya, GIZ Regional Health Expert, Joselyn Bigirwa, the IGAD Head of Mission for Uganda, among other dignitaries.

The IT equipment, that was received includes desktops, laptops, tablets, UPSes, extensions, and access points, and will be distributed across the different boarder line health facilities in the areas of Elegu, Bibia, Malaba, Tororo, Amuru, and Busia, from where they will be directly connected to the central information system at the ministry of health headquarters.

While speaking at the function Minister Ruth Aceng expressed gratitude for the timely donation, emphasizing the equipment’s role in bridging the ICT gaps and improving data sharing across borders. She also highlighted Uganda’s commitment to regional efforts and called for continued collaboration to mobilize resources for surveillance and digitalization.

“The IT equipment will support the existing IDSR system and allow for the exchange of health data for disease surveillance systems from the cross-border sites to the national level. In essence, the procured hardware seeks to elevate data management practices across the data pipeline in making disease surveillance more efficient and streamlined.

The minister adds that there is a need to mobilize additional resources at regional level for surveillance, for support to points of entries and to support digitalization of all the reporting and data storage.

Joselyn Bigirwa, the IGAD Head of Mission in Uganda, underscored the importance of digital technologies in strengthening cross-border disease surveillance, and commends Uganda’s leadership in digitalizing the health sector and highlighted IGAD’s role in supporting regional data sharing policies and capacity assessments.
“A core mandate of IGAD is to safe guard the health of the people in the region by strengthening cross boarder disease surveillance and health data sharing to achieve this mandate, digital technologies are very important in facilitating timely and availability of health information among the IGAD member states,” she said.

Joshua Mokaya, the GIZ Regional Health Expert emphasized the significance of the project in fostering a regional health surveillance system. He praised Uganda’s efforts in combating COVID-19 and outlined key accomplishments, including the creation of a regional surveillance platform and the extension to incorporate additional diseases.

“Our reflections on the journey thus far are imbued with appreciation for Uganda’s remarkable strides in combating COVID-19. We take immense pride in standing shoulder to shoulder with Uganda as we navigate these unprecedented global health challenges. Our previous endeavors, marked by utilizing synergies between the EU, BMZ, IGAD, and GIZ, have laid a strong foundation for digital tools that enhance disease surveillance networks in Uganda, reinforcing Germany’s dedication to
our longstanding partnership and unwavering commitment to global health,” Mokaya stated.

The ceremony marked a significant leap towards efficient disease surveillance data transmission in the IGAD region. The IT equipment, a tangible manifestation of international collaboration, is poised to revolutionize decision-making processes during disease outbreaks, contributing to the broader goals of sustainable development and regional health resilience.

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