Uganda’s Health care sector has many actors who include multiple government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and civil society organizations. It spends 34$ per capita on the health sector which is consistent with other low-income countries but very low in comparison to the region’s average. Uganda’s public financing is low being at 23% of the entire health expenditure and stakeholders consent that Uganda’s health care is being underfinanced meaning it cannot deliver its National minimum healthcare package. This shows the significance of using limited resources for essential and pro-poor resources. Donor spending has reached an all-time high at 33% of the 2009 data and this can be used to finance innovative health care financing options. The quality of health care in Uganda is therefore very poor (Gupta 685).
Uganda’s Health Care Spending
In spite of the fact that Uganda is a signatory to numerous regional and international health accords it still endures the challenge of poor indicators. Uganda’s pace in the attainment of the MDGs is very slow and its healthcare budgetary allocations are far below the 16% Abuja declaration commitment. This calls for a dire need to implement concrete actions by both stakeholders and the government to guarantee that the government’s commitment is practically matched by expenditures and budgetary allocations that are responsible to the population’s health needs. External partners finance a considerable proportion of Uganda’s healthcare budget. Donors have contributed an average of 40% to Uganda’s healthcare budget in the last two years. The government should take the lead in financing its healthcare system to avoid external control (Hogan 1509).
Factors Contributing to a Long and Healthy Life in Uganda
Uganda’s constitution acknowledges the significance of food and nutrition and even provides that the government shall promote and encourage nutrition through public awareness programs in order to build a healthy state. Climatic conditions tend to favor food production, hence, contributing to healthy and long life. Despite good climatic conditions, women in Ugandans still face malnutrition, hunger, and famine. Recent changes in climate coupled by fluctuating national and international economy have made it worse. The government of Uganda made it a priority to curb communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and Malaria; this is likely to lead to Ugandans’ long and healthy life (Houweling 733).
Maternal Mortality Rate
Uganda’s maternal mortality ratio is 500 deaths per 100,000 births. Nevertheless, in its MDGs attainment objectives. Uganda is committed to reducing this figure to 130 per 100,000 live births by the year 2015. However, the situation on the ground indicates that this vision will not be attained since maternal health services are still below the required standards. For each maternal death in Uganda, five women suffer from serious morbidities such as obstetric fistula, anemia, incontinence, infertility, and pelvic pain that lead to debilitating and chronic sicknesses and over 80 suffer from various forms of maternal morbidity. These statistics are so because most of these deliveries take place without skilled health practitioners outside health facilities where there are constant delays in their effort to access health care (Neft 40).
Birth Rate, Birth Attended By Skilled Health Professionals
Uganda’s birth rate is 6.6 children per woman making it be amongst the top three countries with the highest population growth rates in the world. Access to skilled health professionals in Uganda is limited in the rural areas in comparison to the urban areas. The issue is critical in Uganda given that 86% of its population is located in the rural areas. Only 37% of women in rural areas actually have their birth attended by skilled health professionals compared to 67% in the urban areas. Overly, Uganda has a 45% rate of access to a trained birth attendant. The hospital beds are few and there is an ardent need to increase them in order to increase the rate of access to skilled health professionals (Houweling 735).
Doctors per Population, Most Important Illnesses
In Uganda, statistics indicate that for every 100, 000 people, there are 15 doctors. This is largely so because the government depends on external donors to finance its health budget which has not yet reached the level required as per the MDG goals and the Abuja declaration. Most of the money invested by donors usually becomes misappropriated or is never fast tracked. This means there is a need for donors to monitor how their money is used to ensure that enough doctors are employed to take care of the population. Apart from that, the government needs to build more hospitals to take care of the sick population (Houweling 740).
Leading causes of death
Malaria is Uganda’s leading cause of morbidity and leads to 41% of all outpatient visits, 15% of hospital deaths, and 26% of hospital admissions. Today, 96% of Uganda’s population is at risk of conducting Malaria. Every year it kills 80,000 to 90,000 children. The escalating Malaria rates in Uganda has seriously affected pregnant women and young children who are in extreme poverty levels, lack education, and have minimized access to health care services. It has already reduced the productivity of Uganda’s population due to its negative economic and health effects. Emergency management of Malaria, augmented insecticide treated bed nets, increased access to treatment and education are critical to curb the spread of Malaria in Uganda (Houweling 750).
Despite the fact that Uganda received a lot of praise globally for enacting ways of dealing with HIV/AIDS in the 90s, the scourge still remains a big problem to women’s health care. By 2006, 2.8 million Ugandans had contracted the dreaded virus. Of these people, it is approximated that 1.2 million are still living with the virus while the rest are dead. Apart from that, 1.5 million children are already orphaned due to the scourge. The prevalence rate in Uganda as of today is 6.5% with women recording higher rates of 7.7% in comparison to men who record 5.3% (Houweling 767).
Uganda does not have a comprehensive strategy to address HIV/AIDS that integrates the curtailing of mother-to-child transmission including via the treatment and prevention of STIs, family planning as well as other pertinent interventions to enhance the principle of abstinence till marriage. Prevalence rates have been found to be higher in young women in the age bracket of 16-25 (4%) than young men in the same age bracket. Rural northern Uganda records the highest rate for women. Consequently, the life expectancy of men in Uganda is 48 years while that of women is 40 years (Houweling 820).
To ensure that women do not continue suffering in Uganda due to health disparities, there is a need for donors to ensure that they follow up to monitor how their money is used since they fund 40% of Uganda’s health budget. Apart from that, Uganda’s ministry of health should go to the ground and assist districts in dishing out donors funds in accordance with prioritized issues including, Malaria, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDs.
Gupta, S., M. Verhoeven, and E. Tiongson.. “Public Spending on Health Care and the Poor.” Health Economics 12.8 (2003): 685-96. Print.
Hogan, M. et al. Maternal Mortality for 181 Countries, 1980-2008. A Systematic Analysis of Progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5.” The Lancet 375.9726 (2010): 1509-23. Print.
Houweling, T. et al. “High Poor-Rich Inequalities in Maternity Care: An International Comparative Study of Maternity and Child Care in Developing Countries.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 85.10 (2007): 733-820. Print.
Neft, N. and A.D. Levine. Where Women Stand: An International Report on the Status of Women in 140 Countries. New York: Random House. 1997. Print
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