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UTB: Good Publicity, Infrastructure Key for Tourism Transformation

Key stakeholders in the health sector have gathered in Kampala to discuss the state of palliative care in Uganda.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses and focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

It emerged during the 6th biennial national palliative conference at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala that Africa still registers poor palliative care coverage with less than 15 percent of its beneficiaries getting it.

Only 21 countries, more about pharm Uganda inclusive have palliative care services.

Dr. Emanuel Luyirika of African Palliative Care Association in his keynote address said that the World Health Organization resolution of 2014 which recognizes palliative care hasn’t been achieved.

According to Dr. Luyirika, drugs only 6 countries in Africa; Rwanda, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have legislation on palliative care.

Uganda is still in process of developing stand alone policies for this care.


He also said that the consumption of morphine, the basic palliative treatment is still on the record low in Africa compared to the rest of the world.

“The delivery of palliative care services in Africa relies heavily on civil society and governments have not done enough,” he said.

The conference was officially opened by Pius Okong, the Chairperson Health Service Commission, who represented the Minister of Health.

In his message, the Minister said that Uganda has registered significant milestones to ensure the provision of palliative care.

He said that 92 districts are so far offering these services and the morphine drug is available in all accredited health centres.

He went ahead to say that Ministry of Health’s 5-year plan will provide space for palliative care patients in health facilities at all levels.

Key among the setbacks derailing palliative care is; poor policies, legislation barriers, limited human resource and funding.

Palliative care involves the prevention and relief of suffering by early identification and assessment and treatment of pain.
The Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, this site Stephen Asiimwe has appealed to Ugandans to take the responsibility of marketing the country’s tourism.

Mr Asiimwe said that promoting tourism is not only government’s role but every Ugandan’s business.

He made the reminder while appearing on NTV morning show on Thursday morning.

“Every Ugandan must make equal contribution and every Ugandan is ambassador for tourism. It doesn’t matter which sector health, media, business, hotel you must use it to market Uganda. Only then shall we reap good returns,” he noted.

Regarding the possible bad publicity that could affect the sector, Asiimwe intimated that such negativity shouldn’t be relied on.

“Some cities have 15 rape cases per minute but you never hear these countries focus on that. We need to be positive because even the best cities known in the world have challenges.”

The UTB boss commended government for the budget increment from 11.4bn in the past to Shs 30bn which he said is a ‘phenomenal increase’.

However, he was quick to note that Uganda needs to catch up with its very competitive regional market.

He held that Uganda as a destination possesses many things that have potential to attract any foreigner.

Asiimwe further urged Ugandans to engage in domestic tourism given the affordable entry fees required to visit national parks.

He said that discussions have been held with district CAOs, town clerks, and mayors to create viable strategies to promote tourism.

“I advised district leaders to have tourism officers and am glad they appreciated the idea”

According to Asiimwe, there are plans to open UWEC centre in each region of Uganda. He said that Tooro kingdom has already provided a chunk of land near Fort Portal for this.

On infrastructure improvement, he expressed optimism that Civil Aviation Authority’s plan to open up four international airports in Uganda will boost the sector.

“The airfield in Kanungu is already registering four flights per day. If more of these are established, tourists will have ease in accessing tourist sites,” he said.

Asiimwe confirmed that some of the FC Barcelona legends will be visiting Uganda later this year in a bid to market Uganda as a tourism destination.

“These stars will and play the Uganda Cranes and they thereafter tour a few places and will name gorillas.”

“We intend to capitalize on the following of these players which is about 40 million people worldwide. They will come with TV crews.”

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