The Ministry of Health together with its partners; National Medical Stores, World Health Organisation among others yesterday November 6, 2020, held the inaugural ‘Heroes In Health Awards’ (HIHA) 2020 aimed at appreciating the efforts of and motivating health care workers.
The awards ceremony was presided over by the Vice President of Uganda, Edward Ssekandi who represented the President.
Speaking during the awards event held at Kampala Serena Hotel, Dr. Diana Atwine, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary noted that health workers play a huge role in taking care of the patients and therefore need to be celebrated.
“People who do good must be rewarded. We invite you to walk with us on this journey to ensure that every year, we look out for those exceptional people who make so much impact in the lives of our people,” Atwine said.
She noted that the objective of the ceremony is also to emphasize the fact that the journey of health care cannot be walked alone and as such appreciate the contribution of all the various players.
“If we strengthen our partnership between government and private sector, we can do much better. We also thank the cultural leaders; Buganda, Tooro kingdoms. We have also opened collaboration with the Kyabazinga and we are going to go all the way so that everybody plays their role,” she added.
Hon. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, the State Minister of Health in charge of Primary healthcare, said that due to the nature of their work, health workers sacrifice a lot of their time and are also at a high risk of getting infections.
“The Ministry of Health, therefore, in conjunction with extra-ordinary media is proud to use this platform to recognise the outstanding individuals, entities and organisations in the health sector,” said Kaducu.
She stated that the awards are instrumental in appreciating the available and significant work being undertaken by healthcare professionals.
“We started with a few categories. However, we are conversant that this doesn’t exhaust all the players in the sector. This is just the beginning and we may include more categories in the future.”
Kaducu further noted that the current increase of community infections of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic poses a lot of danger in the lives of health professionals.
“To date, we have a total of 905 healthcare workers who were infected by covid-19 since Uganda registered its first case in March this year. So far, we have lost 9 healthcare workers due to COVID-19. We have also lost quite many health workers due to other health related commitments,” she stressed.
“As the Ministry, we pledge our total commitment to support our health workers to ensure that they are in position to advocate for more and adequate equipment; especially Personal Protective Equipment,” Kaducu added.
Speaking at the event, Ssekandi congratulated the award winners of the night and hailed the health care workers for their immense contribution to the well being of the citizens.
“In a special way, I want to congratulate the health workers, health institutions and all groups that have received awards of excellence in the previous categories. I thank you for offering distinguished service in the health sector,” he said.
He added that through the disease prevention strategy, prevention of killer diseases such as polio, measles, tuberculosis was possible by promoting mass immunization, and it also helped to deal with the HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda.
Some of the Award categories rewarded at the event include; Nurse of the year, public health facility of choice, maternal and health care ward.