June 26, 2020

 With the Uganda-South Sudan border at Elegu being a major hotspot for COVID-19, the Gulu District COVID-19 Taskforce has had its work cut out in trying to keep the pandemic at bay.

This task was made even harder by the inadequate ICT gadgets needed to facilitate coordination and reduce exposure of their frontline staff to COVID-19.

Now, following an appeal for support by the taskforce chairman Major Santos Okot Lapolo, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has stepped in with a donation of a computer and tablet devices.

Maj Okot Lapolo, who is also RDC of Gulu, had approached UCC through Board Member Pamela Angwech, seeking some equipment that he said would buttress the district’s COVID-19 response.

He noted that Gulu’s geographical position as the biggest regional city near the border, and hosting a regional referral hospital, has put the district at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. The border town of Elegu has registered several COVID-19 cases, especially among truck drivers, making Gulu a hotspot.

Consequently, the Gulu District COVID-19 taskforce is, among other duties, responsible for monitoring crossing points to control unauthorised movements across the border and promptly report suspicious cases.

This assignment calls for effective monitoring, coordination and timely communication, which are hampered by lacking the right equipment.

Thus the taskforce requested for a desk top computer to facilitate the establishment of a data management centre, as well as to facilitate online meetings. They also asked for tablets to enable task force field officers share data in real time and hold online meetings too.

UCC stepped in with the donation of one computer and 10 Samsung Galaxy tablets to the taskforce.

Receiving the equipment at the office of the District Health Officer (DHO) on July 10, 2020, the RDC expressed appreciation to UCC for responding positively to their appeal for help, and vowed that the gadgets would be put to good use.

He thanked UCC Board Member Pamela Angwech and the UCC Gulu regional office team for being strong partners to the taskforce in the fight against COVID-19.

The handover was attended by the RDC and other members of his taskforce, while UCC was represented by Board Member Ms Angwech and staff of the Gulu regional office.

In her speech, Ms Angwech thanked the taskforce for the good work being done to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Uganda. She promised to engage the UCC Gulu regional office so that they can extend technical support to the task force officers on handling the equipment and maintenance.


Caption: Handover ceremony of ICT equipment donated by UCC