Thursday, February 14, 2013 – 01:30
Promoting “Preventive Health”
Health Journalism Network Uganda (HEJNU) is happy to welcome journalists across Uganda to the 3rd Health Journalism Conference. The conference which attracted journalists with keen interest in health reporting was held under the theme, promoting preventive health.
Over 80 Journalists from different media houses throughout the country convened at the Kampala Imperial Royale Hotel for four days (12-15 February) to deliberate with scientists, researchers and policy makers on how preventive care can be prevented.
The conference was opened by State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties, Ms Sarah Kataike on Wednesday February 13, 2013. Hon Kataike thanked the Ugandan media for rising up giving special consideration to health and development issues. She said government will be happy to partner with the media to take on prevention health as an agenda Kataike said that government is committed to prevention of diseases rather than investing in curing them which she noted was too expensive. In the same regard, she revealed that government will put a
lot of efforts in primary care with the immunization against pneumonia set to kick-off in April this year.
The minister also noted that research studies into cervical cancer immunization are under way and the exercise will be carried out countrywide effective 2015. The key note address was delivered by the president of the world medical association Dr Margret Mungherera who like the minister emphasized the importance of prevention rather than cure. From an informed point of view as a medical practitioner, Dr Mungherera noted that over 75% of the diseases among the people are preventable and called on journalists to take on the information spreading duty head-on.
She however noted that little funding is a big problem to some key government ministries like the Ministry of education and sports and the Ministry of water and environment that would otherwise champion the prevention of many diseases that are as a result of using unclean
Other speakers who graced the conference included Dr Chris Baryomunsi who discussed the role of Ugandan parliament in advocating for prevention in healthcare, Dr. Sam Okuonzi, also a member of Parliament, Dr Anthony Mbonye a commissioner for community health services in the ministry of health, Prof. Vinand Nantulya, the chairman board Uganda AIDS commission, Richard Husunira from HEPS-Uganda, the commissioner for non-communicable diseases in the
ministry of health Dr Gerald Mutungi, Dr. Simon Peter Eyoku from the renal unit at Mulago hospital, Dr. Okuku Fred form the Uganda cancer institute among others.