Uganda: Our Impact

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has been awarded a three-year, $8.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue and expand its efforts to develop sustainable solutions enabling private drug sellers, many of them women, to help more people access essential medicines in Africa.

A FLEP doctor performs family planning services at Kamuli health clinic. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

A performance-based financing (PBF) grant has helped the Kamuli VSC health clinic in Kamuli District, Uganda drastically increase the quantity of family planning services provided to clients. In September 2010, the clinic saw 10 family planning clients per week; now nearly 80 clients receive family planning services each week. Kamuli VSC health clinic is supported by Family Life Education Program (FLEP), a local private sector organization that STRIDES for Family Health has assisted with a PBF contract since September 2010.

On November 12, 2009, Uganda’s Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Stephen Malinga, officially launched the opening of Accredited Drug Shops (ADS) in Kibaale district in front of a crowd of about 500 people, including national and local government officials; representatives from the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda; who collaborated on the ADS implementation; newly accredited ADS attendants and owners, who had completed a comprehensive training on drug dispensing regulations; and community members.

On November 16, 2009, MSH gathered leading family planning and reproductive health experts for a lively roundtable discussion on how to build effective, integrated health systems that provide universal access to family planning and reproductive health services.

At the first international conference on family planning in 17 years, MSH is among several leading global health organizations with a strong presence, including an exhibit table, more than 10 presentations and an auxiliary event on health systems strengthening for family planning.

The BASICS (Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival) Project hosted a symposium in Washington, DC, on September 30, in which government officials and experts shared their experiences of health care issues in conflict and postconflict states. The symposium brought together eight speakers who discussed the importance of planning; the need to coordinate ministries of health, donors, and nongovernmental organizations; and the importance of linking action to a government’s own national strategies in health and development.

Coptic Waiting in Tent. Photo Credit: MSH StaffOn November 4–6, 2009, in Gisenyi, Rwanda, the Initiative on Adherence to Antiretrovirals of the International Network for the Rational Use of Drugs (INRUD-IAA) hosted its third annual meeting on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Results of an INRUD-IAA research study showed that the adherence indicators chosen for study are clinically meaningful—that is, they correlate to increases in patients’ CD4 counts and weight gain.

A National Medical Store in Uganda. Photo Credit: MSH Staff.The US Agency for International Development recently awarded MSH a five-year, $39-million cooperative agreement to implement the Securing Ugandans’ Right to Essential Medicines (SURE) Program. SURE’s mandate is to make certain that Uganda’s people have access to good-quality essential medicines and health supplies by strengthening the national pharmaceutical supply system.

The STRIDES for Family Health project was officially launched August 27 in Kampala, Uganda, in an event attended by representatives from MSH and its project partners, the Uganda Ministry of Health, the Uganda Parliament, and the Uganda USAID Mission. Other attendees included administrative and health officials from the 15 Ugandan districts collaborating with the USAID-funded STRIDES project, and representatives from civil society and other stakeholder organizations.

In a recent survey, a team from the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Management Sciences for Health found that human resource (HR) managers in four East African countries—Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—want and need better preparation to carry out their responsibilities, which include recruitment and deployment of staff, HR planning and policy, and training. The study recommended seeking professionals for these roles and providing short courses in HR management and leadership.


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