ARUA. The minister of state for health in charge of general duties, Ms Anifa Kawooya on Wednesday launched the Public Health Emergency Operation Center in the West Nile sub region of Uganda.

The Emergency Operation centre will provide an early detection of disease outbreaks like epidemics and pandemics before it goes out of hand.

The facility installed at Arua Regional referral Hospital will monitor disease outbreaks like Anthrax, Plague, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus and rift valley fever among humans and Anthrax, Brucellosis, Rift valley fever and Rabies among animals.

Ms Anifa Kawoya noted that it is important for the government to have such a centre in West Nile as the region has high rates of infectious disease outbreaks.

“West Nile is known to be one of the areas within Northern Uganda where there is a high burden of infectious diseases. Therefore, this centre has come timely for us to address issues of infectious diseases”. Ms Anifa noted as she thanked the government and the partners for ensuring establishment of the centre in Arua city.

Director General of Health services, Dr Henry Mwebesa explained that the Emergency Operation Centre will help in monitoring and analysing outbreaks of infectious diseases in the region and called upon the management of Arua hospital to involve politicians in the whole process.

The chairperson for parliamentary committee on Health, Dr Charles Ayume said the launch is a huge landmark in the general health service of Uganda as the region also serves health needs of Democratic republic of Congo and South Sudan.

“This Emergency operation Centre is a huge landmark in the health services of Northern Uganda. This will provide an early warning system for detection of outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics. We should avoid reacting to where the pandemics come from and start scrambling about how to manage it”, Dr Ayume Ayume said.

Chairman for pChairman for parliamentatry Commitee on health, Dr Chrles Ayume and Arua Central division MP, Jackson Atima during the launch

The director of Arua regional hospital, Dr Filbert Nyeko and MPs in the parliamentary health committee said disease outbreaks are a matter of security in a country, adding that the facility has come timely.

“On behalf of the people of Arua city and West Nile, I want to welcome this facility in the region as the disease burden in this region is enormous”, Arua central division MP, Jackson Atima said.

Atima also revealed that he and his colleagues had lobbied for an ambulance for the regional hospital to replace the one which was stolen as investigation into its recovery continues.