Uganda Launches The National Action Plan For Health Security 2019 – 2023

Immaculate Nabukenya*, Solome Okware*, John Baptist Kibanga*, Hebert Bakiika*, Celestin Bakanda*, Mohammed Lamorde**

NAPHS Acceleration Team*, GHS Program Director**

On 20th August 2019, the Prime Minister of Uganda officiated at the launch of the NAPHS 2019 – 2023 under the slogan “Securing Uganda Against Health Threats”. The plan comes in to address the gaps identified during the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) conducted in June 2017, in compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR), 2005. The event was graced by several high level dignitaries including the Hon. Minister of Health, Minister for Karamoja Affairs, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative, Food and Agricultural Organization representative, United States Ambassador, Director Animal Resources (Representing the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries), Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Authority as well as representatives from other ministries, private sector, donor and implementing agencies as well as the media.

Attended by more than 210 people, the NAPHS was officially launched by ribbon cutting and members signing on the placard as Ministers, MDAs, partners and other stakeholders.

This is an important land mark in advancing health security capacity building in Uganda and the region. Uganda has demonstrated her capacity to prevent, detect and respond timely to public health events and emergencies. This was recently demonstrated through the rapid response to three imported Ebola Virus Disease cases from Democratic Republic of Congo to the neighbouring Kasese District. The outbreak was well managed with no secondary cases out of 167 contacts identified, listed and followed up for 21 days. After 42 days (double the incubation period for Ebola virus) of follow up of the contacts, WHO declared the country Ebola free on 23rd July 2019.

During the NAPHS 2019 – 2023 launch, the One Health approach and collaboration among sectors was emphasised. The development and implementing partners pledged continuous support to the plan for full scale implementation. This assures the national and international community to freely enjoy trade with and travel in Uganda. The launch was coordinated by Office of the Prime Minister, with participation from Ministry of Health, MAAIF, Infectious Diseases Institute, with funding from WHO and Resolve to Save Lives.