The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has pledged government support to the Uganda National Academy of Sciences to enable it undertake global research and also produce reports.

The Premier made these remarks while launchingtwo global health risk framework reports titled “The Neglected Dimension of Global Health Security: A framework to counter Infectious Disease crises” and “Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response”

PM Rugunda shares a light moment with Prof Omaswa (R) and Prof Keith McAdam (L) on his arrival at Speke Resort Munyonyo to launch the The Global Health Risk Framework Reports on Thursday (Photo by PMPU)

The reports were launched during an epidemic outbreak preparedness and Responseworkshop held at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

Dr Rugunda commended the Uganda National Academy of Sciences for mobilizing health workers to come together and share knowledge and information, adding that health workers especially in Africa need to get organized for a common goal.

He called upon health workers to make use of the newly launched global health risk framework reports, notingthat, they will not only enable them to gain knowledge on how to better prepare for an outbreak but will also enhance their experience fromprevious outbreakslike Ebola.

“This research has been undertaken by people who are experts. We should therefore use the research not only to draw lessons from the past epidemics like Ebola but also use it to better prepare ourselves on how to deal with other epidemics and diseases,” the Premier said.

Dr Rugunda however noted that there are still a number of challenges existing in Africa due to lack of a well equipped health workforce to deal with the emerging health security threats.

PM Rugunda launches one of the Global Health Risk Framework Reports at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday (Photo by PMPU)

“The health manpower is still in bad shape! We should deliberately focus our efforts on sensitization and recruitment of trained health workers who have specific characteristics to undertake such work,” the Premier said.

He expressed gratitude to the United States Academy of sciencesfor sponsoring the research.

Prof Keith McAdam, the Co-chair on the committee of Clinical Trials during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak and also a researcher, in the “Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response” said that the criteria used to select people who participated in the research was non biased making it authentic.

He said some of the key recommendations from the research findings which should be put into consideration include; Capacity building, community engagement and Coordination.

Prof Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, and also Commissioner on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, commended Uganda for emerging as the best country in Africa in regard to having the best practices on epidemic outbreak preparedness and response as per the research findings.

He noted that the research reports will help Africa to look for solutions affecting the health workforce, emphasizing that the health work force problems in Africa can only be overcome by having the right people in the Ministries of Health who understand the health workforce dynamics.

Prof Nelson Sewankambo, the President of Uganda National Academy of Sciences solicited for more government support forthe Academy.

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BY DOREEN NASASIRA