MANAGEMENT SUCCESSES VS IMPEDIMENT TO TALENT, INNOVATION, SMOOTH AND USUAL RUNNING OF ORGANIZATION EVENTS:
The terrain was known to all, with interested parties whose concentration was to roll the mission of the organization to address the problem areas of education, health, and economic empowerment within the community marked to serve and others that are inevitable to bypass.
It was almost a year, our budget was well represented and supported with a guarantee of the continued provision until June 2020, when we expected, two of our grants to end, with confidence that they would be renewed after a few areas of change within the operations and management as were suggested by the concerned funders.
On our monitoring and evaluation chart, every activity was moving according to plan and if continued that way, we were to hit targets before the expected dates.
The revolution of unprecedented events started in March 2020, when the known wave that was heard to have swept through the oversee nations broke through into the African states: there was fear for life and property around the Ugandan people, all over the nation.
The ACCESS Management urgently embarked on the journey to spread the awareness of the disease and all the known precautionary measures were educated to all the ACCESS community which included, 170 Nursing and Midwifery students, 75 employees, and 125 Village Health workers,
Management also forecasted the hardships to reach the beneficiaries and on time in case of movement was halted for some time, and immediately organized and scheduled the visitation to the most vulnerable beneficiaries including the elderly community and the children in schools
Following the scare of massive deaths around the world and the identified numbers of V
COVID 19 cases, on the 20th of March 2020, the Ugandan government passed a directive to temporarily close down the operations of all schools and institutions, which called us to send all-out student Nurses and Midwives back to their homes until the state called back schools into operations.
Management was less saddened with this news, and also what calmed us down was that the students were already in the know of what was happening and of how to keep themselves safe during the lockdown period, although this met that the school staff will not have an income to offset their operational costs.
Urgently, Management drew out a map of the COVID 19 possible impact on operations (current and future), finance, (income & expenditure), travel and movements (in, around, and out,) of the country, and immediately devised measures to continue the mission running through, despite the many stalling factors.
Although the staffing on the ground reduced, and many systems were digitized to ensure the information available for some of the staff who worked from home, the monitoring and evaluation of some of the implementation activities that remained operational in the community and medical and surgical services become a daily concern and the reporting system also become real-time.
Early communication was made to the different funders to express the projected delay in the execution of planned/ funded activities and a pause on fund usage, and approval was sought early enough to postpone the work on budgets until the lockdown was uplifted
The international students were advised to return home as early as possible before the borders were closed off for and also held on any expected participants who were scheduled to come in between April and June 2020.
We thank God that all the ten participants whom we had on the ground made it safely to their homes.
Financially on the 30th March, the Ugandan president passed a directive to lock down the country for 14 days and the other directives that followed including the many do’s and don’ts surrounding the COVID 19 precautionary measures.
Credit goes to the management and administrative team of the organization, together with the organization’s donors who supported us through the trying time and continue to see be with us all through.
To God be the glory.
IMPACT OF COVID -19 ON ACCESS GLOBAL HEALTH PROGRAM
A huge impact has been on placements and movement of participants. This is mainly due restrictions on various operations more so lockdown that was effected on March 18, 2020. In early March 2020, there were four Touro University MPH students at A CESS Uganda for global health elective placement. They had to be sent back to the US before completing their placement rotations due to COVID-19 spread upsurges.
Another placement for Nuvance health medical students was also affected. They were supposed to come from the US on March 27, 2020, for global health elective placement at ACCESS Uganda. There was no option but to have the placement canceled. There are therefore no operational onsite global health-related placements for both local and international participants in the meantime. The global health curriculum is now being blended to suit virtual participation.
Now that Uganda has started lifting the lockdown on educational institutions, and international/ cross-border travel, there is hope that onsite placements would resume at some point in the near future. Meanwhile, we continue to virtually engage with our global health/international partners. Collaboration and partnership for perpetuating education and research, healthcare services, and the economic empowerment of communities remain a core part of our objectives.