A Health Systems Approach to Non-Communicable Diseases in Uganda and Rwanda


Study Tour Summary Document: February 14–23, 2014 

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the LIVESTRONG Foundation (LIVESTRONG) sponsored a delegation of US Senate staffers, policy experts, and researchers to Uganda and Rwanda to examine the key elements of the countries’ health systems, with a particular focus on how the countries are addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases. Strong health systems are the most sustainable way of improving health and saving lives at large scale. For a health system to address the needs of its people, it must:

  • Act in a coordinated and integrated way to reach people who may otherwise go undetected.

  • Deliver integrated care that involves all players in the health system— government ministries, pharmacists, traditional healers, health workers, and community health workers.

  • Be administered responsibly to ensure quality care that is both physically and financially accessible.

  • Have strong information systems and an educated health workforce.

  • Support local, public, and private-sector healthcare providers.