Our work in Uganda
Though Uganda’s health services are weak, joint efforts by the Ministry of Health and organizations such as AMREF have improved overall access to better healthcare for its people.
Today, 72% of the population lives within 5km of a health facility – up from 49% five years ago.
Working with district health councils and health care institutions, AMREF is improving the knowledge and skills of local communities and health professionals through training and partnering – targeting community health workers, water committees and technicians, women’s groups, and community leaders.
Major health challenges
Communicable diseases such as malaria are the leading cause of death and illness in Uganda, and women and children are worst affected. AIDS causes most adult deaths and is the main reason for the decline in life expectancy. Today, an estimated 1 million adults (57% of them women) and 187,000 children are HIV positive. HIV also fuels the TB epidemic – 50% of HIV-positive people also have TB, and 30% of them will eventually die as a result.
Rural areas have least access to basic health care, safe water, and sanitation. Coupled with poor hygiene, this creates high rates of diarrheal disease and death in children.
Distance and cost also play their part in Uganda’s health crisis – 13% of people do not seek medical attention because they can’t afford it or can’t reach clinics. Trained health workers are scarce in rural areas – some districts have as little as 26% of the professional medical staff they need.
Districts in the north and east of Uganda are consistently worse off than those in other regions, largely as a result of conflict and insecurity.
The scope of our work in Uganda
- Providing high-quality training courses and teaching materials for the next generation of primary health workers, nurses, and laboratory staff
- Promoting community-based care for orphans affected by HIV/AIDS in the Luwero district
- Vaccinating children and providing clean water and sanitation in IDP camps in northern Uganda
- Preventing and managing HIV, TB, malaria, and water-borne diseases in Soroti district by strengthening health care systems. This involves training formal and community health workers, raising community awareness, and renovating and equipping health centers
- Increasing self-esteem among young people and empowering them to seek and demand access to health services
- Partnering with the Guardian newspaper and Barclays to transform people's lives in Katine, in one of the poorest districts in Uganda
- The Kawempe community health development project, in Uganda's capital, works to provide vocational training, business skills, counseling, and support to those people living in the Kawempe slum.
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