Ophthalmologist Gladys Atto working at Moroto regional referral hospital in northeastern Uganda has won Shs 5 million after scooping the ‘Doctor of the Year’ at the 2023 Heroes in Health Awards.
Atto was awarded for her exceptional and selfless services, most especially in restoring the sight of her patients.
“This award also goes out to all my beloved patients who put their trust in me to handle their eyes and to all the senior ophthalmologists who taught me the art of eye surgery,” she added.
The 4th edition of the Heroes in Health Awards was held at the Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo on November 10 and seek to recognize unique individuals and entities transforming the health sector. The awards ceremony was presided over by deputy speaker of parliament Thomas Tayebwa.
National Medical Stores (NMS) general manager Moses Kamabare was rewarded for superintending over the digitization of the drug supply in Uganda's healthcare.
Kamabare who has been at the helm of NMS since 2008 received the Minister’s Special Award for his “transformative initiatives towards healthcare accessibility through digitization of the supply chain.”
NMS was established 30 years ago with a mandate to procure, store, and distribute medicines and essential medicines to health facilities in the country.
“Currently, all government health facilities across Uganda place their orders online for all essential medicines and Health supplies, including among others, ARVs, TB, malaria, reproductive health commodities and vaccines...The online ordering of medicines is a radical departure from the old system where facilities sent orders by hard copies/manually through courier. Orders for medicines at the time were prone to errors, would delay or even be lost on the way” said NMS spokesperson,” Sheila Nduhukire.
According to Nduhukire, NMS was able to successfully distribute essential medicines and vaccines on time during the recent outbreaks of Ebola and Covid-19.
“What this means is that NMS can distribute medicines for emergency outbreaks without disrupting the deliveries of routine medicines. As such, NMS was able to effectively address the Covid-19 pandemic needs without much disruption on the routine deliveries,” said Nduhukire.
Director general health services at the ministry of Health, Dr Henry G. Mwebesa was given a special award for his exceptional and tremendous contribution to the continuous improvement of health service delivery. Uganda Red Cross Society scooped the prestigious Heroes in Health Award, Logistics Category.
All the way from Maracha-WestNile, Celina Bako won the ‘Midwife of The Year’ Award. Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) student, Deogratias Delafrique also won an award for spearheading efforts to transform the healthcare system by adopting herbal and complementary medicines so that patients can always have effective, safe, and affordable options for treatment.
He is working on a VEP antiseptic herbal wound spray, a herbal formulation from locally sourced raw medicinal plants, bidens pilosa (Black Jack), and aloe vera. It is intended to be used for wound healing especially minor cuts, burns, and diabetic wounds.
Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said the ministry has a clear vision and aims to deliver the highest possible level of health services to all Ugandans.
“The government is committed to elevating the healthcare system and cultivating a resilient health workforce is one of the priorities,” she said.
On his part, Tayebwa affirmed support for the ministry of Health and Heroes in Health Awards, pledging parliament's commitment and emphasized the need for the health sector to foster collaboration and partnerships.
“Our health workers navigate through challenging and strained conditions,” said Tayebwa, adding, “Their unwavering commitment to deliver quality healthcare, despite numerous challenges, underscores the urgent need for continued support.”