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Global Health

A patient medical review
A patient at Lira Regional Referral hospital undergoing a medical review.
MSH/TRACK TB project, Uganda.

Although health indicators are steadily improving, Uganda’s population is among the fastest growing in the world. Uganda’s population growth rate has led to an explosion in the number of young people, with over 50 percent of the population under 15 and 75 percent under the age of 30. Therefore, efforts to further strengthen the country’s health systems are critical to keeping up with rising demand.

USAID works with the government, private sector and people of Uganda to increase the access to and availability of quality health services, improve health systems and encourage healthy behavior. Our goal is to develop a sustainable program that results in improved health and nutrition in focus districts and targeted populations.

The United States is the largest single donor providing health aid to Uganda, investing money where it is most needed and where it will make the most difference. In 2004, U.S  government health asisstance , valued at about $430 million, reached seven million Ugandans. The support focused on HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB prevention and treatment; maternal and child health; family planning; nutrition; treatment of neglected tropical diseases; and emerging pandemic threats.

USAID currently trains health and community outreach workers to help prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and supports the large-scale delivery of highly effective services including immunization against childhood diseases, nutritional assistance and distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets that help prevent malaria. Our program also strengthens Uganda’s decentralized health system, improves the quality of and access to family planning and maternal and newborn health services, and supports the large-scale delivery of preventive services such as childhood immunizations and nutritional assistance.

HIV/AIDS

Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USAID supports the scaling up of innovative, effective HIV/AIDS control efforts. This includes collaboration with government, religious, private and community-based institutions to provide better prevention, care and treatment. Uganda has already reached 58 percent treatment coverage amongst all adults living with the disease, and USAID will continue to support Uganda to achieve its 90-90-90 targets by 2020.

 Malaria Prevention

Malaria is the leading cause of illness and death among young children in Uganda. Through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), U.S. assistance works to reduce malaria by 70 percent through proven approaches, such as indoor residual spraying, insecticide treated bed nets, prevention of malaria during pregnancy and appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In 2014, the U.S. contributed to the largest bednet coverage campaign in the world, the Government of Uganda’s Universal Coverage Campaign, with over 22 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) for malaria prevention distributed. In addition, more than three million people in over 800,000 households were protected through indoor residual spraying. In November 2016, the U.S. will support a second Universal Coverage Campaign.

Maternal and Child Health

USAID focuses on improved health and nutrition for children under the age of five and women of reproductive age. Specifically, USAID programs include immunization, improved antenatal care, safe delivery services, nutrition, WASH and fistula repair. USAID activities also help to address barriers that limit women to access health services through the promotion of gender equity. USAID supports integrated regional programs in over half of the districts in country which reinforce access to quality services and information in the communities and facilities. 

Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Uganda has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, with 6.2 children per woman; and over 40 percent of women report an unmet need for family planning. USAID works with a variety of stakeholders in the public and private sector to support voluntary family planning and reproductive health, including social marketing, vouchers, franchising, outreach camps and workplace programs. USAID also works closely with the Ugandan Ministry of Health to increase the availability, affordability and quality of voluntary family planning services, including contraceptives within the public health systems.

 Health System Strengthening

Underpinning the health concerns in Uganda is its fragile and under resourced health system. USAID is working with the Government of Uganda and other donor partners across the six WHO Health System Pillars. USAID supports the recruitment, deployment and performance monitoring of trained health workers throughout the country. Quality service delivery is dependent on routine availability of essential medicines.  Besides providing medical commodities that treat HIV and Malaria and prevent pregnancy, USAID also works to strengthen the public and private supply chain systems so that they are more effective and transparent, ensuring that medicines reach all the way to patients. USAID is also supporting public financial management reforms to increase domestic resources and improve efficiency and alignment of present resources through the Global Finance Facility and PEPFAR’s Sustainable Finance Initiative.

Last updated: November 23, 2016

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