The Ugandan community marks PSD2018

Monday, 17 December 2018

On the 6th of September 2018, Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN) in partnership with Uganda Alliance for Patients Organisation (UAPO), organized the Patient Solidarity Day (PSD) 2018, in Kiwenda Nabitalo, Wakiso district.  

The participatory event brought together over 200 participants from the public and private sector, patient organizations, community based organizations, health professionals, academic institutions, religious, political, local leaders, village health teams, media and the general public. 

Specific to PSD, we were proud to implement a new approach, which is first of its kind in Uganda; firstly 6 schools (5 primary schools and 1 secondary school) researched and wrote 13 essays on safe medication and health care, and these were presented to the community. See the winning essays here and here.

Secondly, the community was organized into 5 groups, these comprised of community village health teams and other members of the community, the groups represented the health challenges and perception of the different patients and community members on health issues with particular focus on medication safety through a debate. At the end of each session, health experts gave their views on safe medication and healthcare. 

Additionally, at the event, community members accessed health services including; sickle cell screening, cancer screening, HIV counseling, and testing, hepatitis B screening, diabetes and high blood pressure screening as well dental services,  also through the private sector support, medicines were donated to Namulonge Health Center. Critical at the event was also the health education delivered by 6 health experts on the topic of safe medication and health care in Uganda.   

On behalf of the health community and the general public, while referring to the 2018 PSD, and many other health initiatives, it is our role to acknowledge and embrace innovative solutions to the medication safety challenge, taking an example of the PSD 2018 these solutions can include; community based research on health issues through community debates amongst schools and other community members aimed at increasing health literacy. 

For this achievement, we extend our special thanks to: the general public, International Alliance of Patients Organization, Uganda Alliance for Patients Organizations members, World Health Organisation, National Drug Authority, Ministry of Health, Medical Access, Infectious Disease Institute, Medical Face International, Reproductive health Uganda, Village Health Teams, Platform for Labour Action, Cipla, Abacus, Kampala Pharmaceuticals Industry, Wide Spectrum Enterprises, Media including: Capital FM and Beat FM, among others. 

It is important to note that medication safety is a public health challenge that requires ongoing efforts by all key stakeholders at community, national, regional and international level additionally it is critical to emphasize engagement of young children in all efforts aimed at promoting health literacy.