Museveni’s aide becomes DAM Cultural Ambassador for East Africa

Posted on: May 7, 2024, by :
Ms. Phionah Barungi and DAM founder Dr. Ukpai Olugu

Canada based African socio-cultural organization and health care advocates Drum Against Malaria (DAM) has honoured the Special Assistant to the Ugandan President on Special Duties, Ms. Phionah Barungi with DAM Cultural Ambassador  for East Africa award. The award was bestowed on Barungi during the one day commemoration of  World Malaria Day held in City Hall, Halifax, Canada in April.  The DAM founder, Dr. Ukpai Olugu, said the award was for Barungi’s continuous efforts at promoting health awareness around Africa and bolstering the image of Uganda around the globe.  

He said the energetic Special Assistant to the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has taken her drive for greater inclusion of the African continent to Canada where she made case for awareness on Malaria and other terminable diseases plaguing Africa.

Barungi, who was on a visit to Canada, harped on the need for more attention to be paid to create awareness on malaria, a common disease that kills many children in Africa every second, insisting that Africans cannot champion the fight all alone, hence the need to take the message to Canada whose technological advancement, political orientation and humanitarian policies can further help to salvage Africa and save her innocent children from the clutches of the deadly disease.

The Malaria awareness campaign was organized by Drum Against Malaria {DAM) an offshoot of Challenge AIDS and Malaria in Africa (CHAMA), an advocacy group against Malaria that has been in the forefront of the war against Malaria in Africa for nearly two decades, using drums, a key component African cultural activities,  to create this awareness.  Ukpai, explaining his passion to help eradicate Malaria in Africa through culture, said he lost his 16 months old baby girl to Malaria due to misdiagnosis while he was away on study trip to Canada. He later turned his pain to passion in saving lives from being lost to Malaria needlessly, an effort that has saved many lives from Nigeria to Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc where the Humanitarian efforts of passionate volunteer has resulted to over 900 free surgeries, free schools and orphanages as well as empowerment for the vulnerable ones, especially single mothers. The drum as symbol of African culture is the emblem and medium of awareness that has been accepted by the Canada community, a case of passing important message through Africa entertainment.

The presentation of the DAM Cultural Ambassador award to Barungi attracted top echelon of the Canada lawmakers like the Mayor of Halifax, His Worship Mike Savage, Barbara Adams, Suzy Hendasen and others.

Barungi will be the DAM’s face on the war against Malaria in East Africa through awareness and education.

She was  charged with the task of bringing report on her success story to DAM’s annual event in Canada and liaise with partners, companies, churches philanthropist etc., on this war as well as encouraging them to attend anti-Malaria DAM cultural event in Canada every April from 2025. This will give her a wider reach and better authority as the face of Africa in the spirited effort at curbing Malaria and other deadly diseases in continent.

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