President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned the newly constructed Arua Referral Hospital and advised the population and health workers that for Uganda to have a healthy and productive population as well as reduction on the health budget, more emphasis needs to put on disease prevention since available research shows that the majority of Ugandans suffer and die from preventable diseases.
Speaking to health workers and other senior officials, led by Health Minister Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye after opening the Shs.3.2 billion health facility in Arua Municipality yesterday, the President said that disease prevention should start with humanity right from the womb by advising pregnant mothers on the right nutrition which, he said, would greatly contribute to the delivery of healthy children.
Mr. Museveni said that after delivery, parents should ensure that their children are immunized from all imumnizeble diseases to further mitigate the risk of acquiring such diseases.
He said that more emphasis should be dedicated to promotion of hygiene within homes as poor hygiene is one major cause of most of the disease load in Uganda.
“Most of the diseases are a result of poor hygiene such as not using toilets, drinking unboiled water, sharing same shelter with animals. These there are many diseases backwardness and need to be halted,” the President said.
The President further said there is need to prevent the increasing life style driven diseases to further have a healthy population.
“HIV/AIDS is largely preventable and some types of cancer are a result of poor life style life smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse; all of which can be avoided,” he noted.
The President said that government was also faced with a challenge in the malaria prevention and control as there are reports of misuse of the millions of mosquito nets that have been distributed to the entire country free to the citizens to control the spread of malaria.
He tasked the District Councils to consider passing by-laws to punish anyone found misusing mosquito nets.
Mr. Museveni said that once all the preventive measures are adopted, it will reduce the number of deaths in the country, reduce congestion in hospitals and further reduce pressure on the government health budget.
Later, President Museveni commissioned a newly built double-storeyed education block and other renovated blocks at Mvara Secondary School in Arua Municipality.
The school structures were constructed by the Ugandan Government in partnership with the African Development Bank.
Addressing students, teachers and parents of the school, President Museveni said that the ultimate goal of the National Resistance Movement is to cause social transformation of the Ugandan society from being a predominantly peasant to a middle class society.
He said that championing education is one way of causing this transformation as education is a time tested change agent.
“That is why we started with the Universal Primary and Secondary Education programmes. I want you to understand this transformation journey and support it. The African society has remained a peasant society for centuries while other continents were going through transformation and this must stop,” he added.
Citing a European example, the President informed his audience that “in 1789, France had peasants within her population and in the class structure just like Africa; but today there are hardly peasants in France because the French society has transformed over the years while the African society, up to today, is still predominantly a peasant society and we can’t go on like this,” he observed.