Uganda's Health Care System at Crossroads; Re-thinking Our Priorities.

Ugandas Health Care System at Crossroads; Re-thinking Our Priorities.


The Health care system in Uganda is at the moment described as inadequate, and holds no promise for its population in meeting and addressing the current health care challenges and the demands of the people of Uganda. As a result of the inefficient health care infrastructure, many Ugandans are at risk of dying or being debilitated by the common preventable illnesses and diseases.


It is sufficient to note that, with the current Government allocation of approximately 8% of its National budget to its Health, which is far short of the internationally proposed 15% for the developing nations if they are to address the minimum health requirements of the health of their people, Uganda will continue to grapple with the poor health infrastructure and health care services, unless a new paradigm shift in our current thinking and prioritization is addressed.


This calls all of us to take a multi-sectorial approach so that different sectors, individuals and Government should not only be willing to rethink our practices, our priorities and principles, but also to be willing to start building a fresh, a health system which is appropriate for the Ugandan people, dynamic in its delivery, pro-active with an eye for innovation and foresight planning to prevent recurrent stock outs, responding to epidemics and one that will built independence from Donor aid for the health of our people.


As a Physician trained in Uganda, having worked in the Government run health facilities, faith based hospitals and one of the Best private hospital in Uganda, I have a unique idea of what the challenges are, the current state of health and what possible solutions can be. I am glad to be joining this ‘fireplace’ and I invite a rigorous debate, from everyone to contribute. I have been passionate about the maternal and child health issues in Uganda, and other developing Nations before I even went to Medical school.


This all started when at the age of 8 or so, I witnessed women dying giving birth in Itozho hospital, and children dying from preventable causes. I myself, was born at Itozho hospital, and was hospitalised there for many childhood illnesses such as measles.


My Aunt, who took care of me as a child, died there a few years ago while giving birth, and the problem was that she could not have timely access to Cesarean section. She ruptured her uterus(womb), died and the baby died a few days later. This was in 2005. Things have not changed much, despite maintain the status quo in the leadership. I invite you in this forum which I have called; “ UGANDA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AT CROSSROADS”. I do high light some of the challenges crippling the Ugandan health sector and I propose possible solutions to them, which if put in place would help to start rebuilding the health services in Uganda and start the restoration of the trust in the services by the population. The population will also begin to own the health services and be a part of partners in development.


I will be starting with the Challenge of LACK OF FUNCTIONAL CHAINS OF SURVIVAL SYSTEMS…..coming soon!



Ed: Dr. Asa Ahimbisibwe is a Ugandan medical doctor doing postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Canada.

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