COVID-19  Uganda Project #46728

Creating awareness about COVID 19 in Arua District

by Integrated health and Development initiative (IHDI)
Creating awareness about COVID 19 in Arua District
Field assessment report photos
Field assessment report photos





Integrated Health and development Initiative is a registered non-governmental organization that was established in the year 2013 to address some of the existing gaps in service delivery to the community by the service providers. The organization specifically focuses on West Nile Districts which have been disadvantaged due the long standing wars within and from the neighboring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo which have great impact on West Nile Districts. The organization decided to further start with the greater Arua District which has the current Arua City serving all the West Nile Districts. The program looked at the entire city divisions and zeroed on Ayivu division where the pen spinning landed on Oluko ward and finally the pen spinning on Riki cell which is over 20km from Arua City Centre. 



Objectives of the visit

  1. To interact with the health Centre in charge and the staff so as to ascertain the working relationship between the health Centre and the community
  2. To establish the number of parishes and Villages within the catchment area of the health Centre
  3.  To establish the number of institutions within the health Centre catchment area
  4. To ascertain the health Centre response to the COVID 19 pandemic and how the community responds to the SOPs set by the Government
  5. To identify the existing knowledge, skill and practice gaps among the health Centre staff and the VHTs on COVID 19 in relation to other opportunistic infections so as to come up with a strategized training

On ground findings

On arrival to the Health Centre, the visiting team got the H/C staff that welcomed the team warmly and led the team to the in charge who had positive deliberations with the team in meeting the above objectives as below: -

During the discussion, it was realized that the total number of parishes in oluko sub County or Oluko Ward was 9 and out of this, Riki H/C III was the only government Health facility in the whole Sub County or the Ward and serves a population of over 9,013 in the two parishes of Yabiavoko and Anipi although the H/C receives clients beyond its catchment area across the neighboring districts of Terego and Vurra.

  • The health Centre goes for outreaches in the areas of immunization and antenatal 
  • The health Centre has trained a total of 34 Village Health Teams who cover a total of 17 villages in the two parishes of Yabiavoko and Anipi
  • The Health Centre lies in Yabiavoko Parish
  • In each village, there are 2 VHTS
  • The H/C conducts quarterly meetings for the VHTs for feed backs
  • There were 12 places of worship in the 2 parishes as detailed below: -
  • 8 Protestant churches
  • 2 Roman catholic churches and 2 Muslim Mosques


v  The community members in the beginning worked hand in hand with the Health Centre staff by communicating actively on the COVID 19 suspects before relaxing as of now

v  The Arua City COVID 19 task force team released 4 megaphones to Oluko to sensitize the community on the COVID 19 pandemic in the following places; Onzivu parish (Cell), Riki Health Centre, Oluko Solidarity H/C and Oluko S/C(Ward)

v  At the H/C, the staff and the patience were seen putting on the face masks and also washing of hands with soap and water

v  Social distancing is emphasized at the triage

v  Over 20 COVID 19 suspects were referred to Arua for screening


  • Most people have heard about COVID 19 its transmission and prevention but have relaxed the precautionary measures of prevention since they have not watched people die of it
  • Negative attitude of the community towards COVID 19 message has greatly affected the Standard Operating Procedures which may result into high community infection soon if preventive strategies are not re-packaged
  • The VHTs have not been oriented on COVID 19 and its relation to other opportunistic infections which take advantage of ones weakened body immunity
  • It seems that most of the attentions have zeroed on only COVID 19 where other preventable diseases have been neglected e.g. HIV, Hepatitis B, TB among others
  • There is high level of social stigma towards COVID 19 Suspects and their families
  • VHTs have not been trained on other health related issues such as Hepatitis B, HIV, TB, Malaria among others


The above gaps call for serious and fast intervention if a productive community is to be saved and empowered for a sustainable health and development. The visit was timely and yielded a lot of issues.

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IHDI staff have held three meetings related to the prevention of COVID 19 Pandemic in Arua. The first meeting was a consultative meeting with  Resident District commissioner in the 4 th week of June 2020. He has fully supported effort of the partners to prevent community spread of the virus.

The second meeting was held also held in the 4th week of June just two days after the first one. IHDI to join the Task force for the information dissemination in the community to prevent further spread of the virus.

The third meeting was a technical staff meeting to plan for activities for the months July to December 2020. This was attended by Draguma Ismail, the program manager, Arumadri Joel, project manager and Patrick , Project officer.

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Organization Information

Integrated health and Development initiative (IHDI)

Location: Kampala, North Western Uganda - Uganda
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IHDI35588523
Project Leader:
Dricile Ratib
Kampala, North Western Uganda

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