Uganda: Our Impact

Herbert Mugumya, Uganda Country Representative for MSH, was invited on the television show Urban Today to talk about MSH’s work in Uganda. Mr. Mugumya discussed the country’s health system and highlighted MSH’s role in ensuring hospital leadership accountability and individuals’ responsibility in seeking health care.

{Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}Photo Credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH

How US Foreign Assistance is Making A Difference Uganda has made great progress in controlling the HIV epidemic and increasing access to critical HIV and health services in recent years. Under the Government of Uganda’s leadership and with the support of development partners, such as MSH, Uganda has reached the second of UNAIDS global 90-90-90 goals: 90% of people living with HIV who know their status are on treatment. 

{Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

At six months pregnant, Angela Namatovu was excited. The pregnancy was going well, and she could not wait to give birth to her baby boy. Like any careful expectant mother, when she developed a cough, she knew that the right thing to do was seek medical attention. She went to a nearby local clinic in the Simbwe, Wakiso district in central Uganda, not thinking her symptom was anything serious. The health facility could not find anything wrong but still referred her to Mulago Hospital. There, she was asked for sputum samples and was also given medication for 10 days.

 {Graphic: African Strategies for Health}Officials from nine African countries convened in Ghana to find solutions to common challenges of attaining universal health coverage (UHC) with sustainability and improved quality of care.Graphic: African Strategies for Health

by African Strategies for Health The goals of universal health coverage (UHC) can only be delivered when access to health services and financial risk protection are equitably addressed.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Kasifa Mugala, 34, started feeling ill while she was pregnant, and started ART after referral for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “I am very happy. I gave birth to a healthy baby who is now turning one year old,” she said. “I did not know that I would ever be fine. I am grateful to our village health team.”Photo credit: MSH staff

Esther Nyende, 45, is a member of her village health team and a community leader in Uganda’s eastern Pallisa District. Nyende alone has referred 20 clients who are now receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).

{Photo Credit: MSH Staff}Photo Credit: MSH Staff

Management Sciences for Health has been working closely in collaboration with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) on the introduction of the new dispersible pediatric fixed-dose combination. Through MSH’s projects across identified high-burden countries, we have been providing assistance on updating treatment guidelines and essential medicines lists, registration of the reformulated product, financing and reprogramming grants, quantification, and training healthcare providers on the medicine and its use. 

 {Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH}Flora Mugisa receives incentives (porridge and milk) from the hospital team during a home visit.Photo credit: Tadeo Atuhura/MSH

As is the norm in the extended family support system in Uganda, Flora Mugisa helped care for her sister who was suffering from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). A year later, Flora also fell sick. She lost her appetite, grew thin, and complained of a heavy chest with severe pain. “I could not sleep at all,” said Mugisa, 70. “I would cough throughout the night. My grandson knew that I would die anytime.”

 {Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}Musingire Annania (right) has successfully battled TB with the help of Paul Sebale (left), his community linkage facilitator.Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

This is the story of Musingire Anania, a 45-year-old, small-scale laundromat owner from the slums of Mulago in Kampala District, Uganda, who has successfully battled tuberculosis (TB) through the dedicated efforts of his community linkage facilitator, Mr. Paul Sebale, and an example of how community linkages can help a TB patient at the brink of death to start and complete treatment and be fully cured.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Mariam Nangobi receives treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) at an MSH-supported health facility in eastern Uganda.Photo credit: MSH staff

Mariam Nangobi was first diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in 2010 when she was 12 years old. After completing a full, eight-month course of treatment, she still tested positive for the disease. She was referred to a larger health facility where she stayed for two months, receiving daily injections. Again, after treatment, she continued to test positive for TB and missed a year of school. Health workers eventually diagnosed her with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) -- a strain of TB that cannot be treated with the two most powerful first-line medicines.

{Photo credit: MSH staff}Photo credit: MSH staff

The average Ugandan woman gives birth to 6.2 children—a national fertility rate that is among the five highest in sub-Saharan Africa—increasing the chances of complicated pregnancies and deliveries. If all unmet need for modern contraceptive methods in Uganda were satisfied, it is estimated that maternal mortality would drop by 40 percent, and unplanned births and induced abortions would decline by about 85 percent. 

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