RTCC Gradually Resumes Training Activities

rtcc rachel lustin philippe lerbourg yannick van winkel rsce entebbe uganda renault trucks k series
18 Mar 2021

RTCC Gradually Resumes Training Activities

Yannick Van Winkel

After a year-long hiatus, induced by the COVID-19 lockdown and its accompanying limitations on movement and travel restrictions, the Regional Training and Conference Centre (RTCC) welcomed participants from outside Uganda for the first time again. Critical standard operating procedures (SOPs) were put in place to lessen the risk of exposure to COVID-19 among training participants as well as trainers.

Protective measures limiting the spread of the virus were put in place before, during and after the four-day-long training. Rachel Lustin, the Conference Coordinator at the RTCC, sums up the many precautionary steps all parties to the event had to take.

“Before participants arrived at the RTCC, they had already satisfied the first line of defence in the sense that the government of Uganda requires travellers to the republic to present a negative PCR-test for COVID-19”, Rachel noted. In addition, she stressed: “A minority of partakers in this first trial group of course takers who came from within Uganda were also required to undergo testing 72 hours before the start of the training and show negative results to be able to attend classes on our premises”.

The RTCC itself also underwent some changes. Rachel clarifies:

 “Although our facilities were designed to support the use of air conditioning, we opted to keep air-conditioning switched off and leave doors open to allow for natural ventilation instead. Refraining from using A/C is to comply with local guidance and be consistent with scientific research, which states that the virus spreads through microscopic particles in the air.  We also implemented more obvious handlings such as temperature monitoring, wearing a mask, observing social distance, regularly sanitizing the shared surfaces and disinfecting items used under ultra-violet lights. Even the traditional award ceremony, whereby course attendees receive their certificate of completion from the trainer, underwent a make-over. Everyone got instructed to wear synthetic gloves. In this way, course graduates were able to accept their certificates of completion from trainers under strict COVID-19 practices.”

Two weeks after the training has ended, RTCC will continue following up with all the participants on their health status. For the sake of contact tracing, should any of the attendees feel unwell and test positive within fourteen days, all other attendees will be notified of that and asked to get tested themselves.

This first on-site and in-person training in a year focused on a new series of Renault trucks used in some of the United Nations peacekeeping missions. More specifically, technicians and mechanics from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Mali (MINUSMA) and the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) learned about the importance of the diagnostic tools that come with this specific Renault truck, the K series. All came to understand how different faults could develop on the trucks depending on the environmental and weather conditions in which they are used.

The training was led by a representative from Renault Trucks France, Mr Philippe Lerbourg. We were happy to notice that among the seventeen participants was also one lady who works as a mechanic for MINUSMA. Thanks to MONUSCO Transport and Renault Trucks Kampala, two K Series Renault Trucks were made available for the Entebbe Support Base and allowed the training course participants to put their knowledge into practice.

The RTCC training facilities have been upgraded to counter COVID-19 and have changed significantly without compromising training quality. Our clients and UN colleagues go through thorough procedures to maintain the new safety standards. UN staff members must resume their development and access refresher training to support UN field operations effectively. In the light of that need, the RTCC is thrilled to be back in business and is looking forward to hosting you.