In light of the increasing Covid-19 positive cases, Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) in collaboration with Ministry of Health held a virtual meeting on 9th September 2020 to assess the Health and Safety Standards implemented at workplaces to safeguard their employees and public against Covid-19.
Below are some of the issues raised with respective action points.
Speculation of the next lockdown:
Dr. Aggrey Batesaaki is the Assistant Commissioner in-charge of Inspection and Compliance, Standards, Compliance, Accreditation and Patients Protection Department, Ministry of Health noted that “Government is passionate about moving our economy further, and that his ministry is not happy to close the economy considering the vital role manufacturing plays in keeping our economy moving in such unprecedented times.
Fear of closing companies with registered cases:
While addressing fears of closing companies; Dr. Aggrey Batesaaki, noted that Closing off a company because of a confirmed Covid-19 case does not stop the spread of the virus. “Once a company registers a case, Ministry of health is available to work with companies to weigh the options of curbing further spread of the virus within the premises without a total shut down” he added.
Costs / charges for testing employee staff:
Dr. requested for time to get clear information with regard to reduction of the cost for testing employees.
According to the Assistant commissioner inspection, standards and compliance – Ministry of Health, it may not be necessary to test all staff at once and said that there will not be mandatory testing required. However, he reiterated the need for vigilance from employers through proper implementation the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Slow response from Ministry of Health:
In response this the above concern, Dr. Aggrey Batesaaki pledged to share contacts of all District Health Officers (DHO) plus the Covid-19 task force to handle issues in the various districts around the country. He added that DHOs represent Ministry of Health at District level and are available to address issues of concern to the manufacturers.
Faulty thermal scanners:
Simon Kaheru, the Public Affairs and Communications Director – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa said that Ministry of Health is not responsible for maintaining faulty thermal scanners and he pledged to share information regarding the distributors of these scanners and their respective calibrators to members in need.
Consolidated Standard Operating Procedures for Manufacturing:
Currently Ministry of Health is developing Covid-19 guidelines for manufacturers.
UMA will set up a Covid-19 task force for manufacturers who will draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide Ministry of Health as it sets these guidelines for manufacturing firms.
UMA in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will issue certificates of compliance to manufacturers who meet the criteria on the Standard operating procedures against Covid-19.
For most people, foam does not sound like a crucial part of the COVID-19 pandemic response effort—but it is. Adhesive-backed foam is used in making face shields and other personal protective gear for health care responders, essential workers and the general public.
Crest Foam Limited a renowned manufacturer of mattresses, has stepped up to support frontline workers and the general public.
When the pandemic hit the country, the company initially intended to use its equipment and workforce to manufacture mattresses and other foam related products, but it soon discovered it had a larger role to play.
With emerging need of face shields and masks to curb the spread of the novel corona virus, Crest Foam’s management partnered with Nice House of Plastics to provide more value by supporting personal protective needs countrywide.
The need for foam has been widespread, and other non-foam manufacturers have reconfigured their production lines to make protective gear as well.