Uganda still has a long way to go to achieve the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) or the 2063 Agenda of the African Union. Although progress has already been made in the area of health and well-being, such as reducing child mortality or increasing life expectancy, a wide range of interventions by both state and non-state actors are still required. The funds made available for social security in Uganda are still small and inadequate. In addition, issues such as climate change, migration and urbanization play a role in economic development and thus social well-being.
According to hyperrestaurant, the Ugandan Ministry of Health is trying to modernize health facilities, vaccinate the population and even buy a few ambulances, but the health sector has made little progress in recent years.
In the state health centers, treatment is officially free, but the reality is that there is a constant shortage of medicines and staff. The infant and maternal mortality is still high, the number of new tuberculosis cases alarming. Most of the patients die from malaria. An ambitious national malaria control program supported by the Global Fund and other donors want to reduce the number of illnesses. A strategy that has been very successful so far is the provision of mosquito nets that have been treated with insecticides, mostly free of charge. But the poor sanitary conditions with around 17% of the population without toilets and only 75% with access to clean water are responsible for numerous illnesses and deaths.
The health situation is worst in Karamoja in the Kabong district, where there is little access to medical care.
The Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP) has achieved decentralization of the health sector through the creation of Health Sub Districts (HSC) – each with a better equipped health center or hospital.
In addition, free minimum health care packages (if available!) Are now made available, e.g. for women giving birth. Improved training, including for health assistants and so-called comprehensive nurses, should also help improve the health situation in Uganda.
Lung disease COVID 19
The first case of coronavirus disease occurred in Uganda on March 21, 2020. Since then, the government has tried everything to prevent the disease from spreading. The measures became increasingly strict in the days that followed, until on March 25th public transport was almost completely suspended. Motorbike taxis were not allowed to transport passengers, but food, Matatus were no longer allowed to drive, and cars were only allowed to transport a maximum of three people, including the driver. On March 31, the rules were tightened again, with a night curfew and driving bans, including for private cars. International flights have already been suspended and all borders have been closed. Inform the media the population about the protective measures and the disease. The Ministry of Health offers daily updates on the infection process, information on prevention and videos to educate certain target groups. A warning app should help contain the infection. The President announced on June 15, 2020 that he was tired of asking people to live, so everyone should try to stick to the rules themselves to avoid the spread of the virus. The eighth address by the President on the Corona situation in the country and the associated restrictions took place on June 22, 2020. Four people are now allowed to be in the private car again, but motorcycle taxis for passengers are still prohibited. Schools will remain closed until further notice.
The army is monitoring the government’s corona-related restrictions, sometimes with a hard hand. Prices are skyrocketing and many people don’t know how to survive the next few weeks.
Both the government and the opposition are now also using music for education. The opposition politician Bobi Wine shot a music video, Bebe Cool, who made music for Museveni’s NRM in the last election campaign, also released a song. At the same time, the government is preparing for a possible increase in the number of cases. The Uganda Virus Research Institute is holding tests, and hospitals are preparing to treat more patients with severe symptoms.
Ebola and Marburg virus, Zika virus and Nodding Disease
The dreaded Ebola fever has been recurring in Uganda for years, twice in 2012. As with previous outbreaks, the disease began in western Uganda. Seventeen people died of it and 24 patients were isolated as a precaution. In 2019, individual cases were brought in from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but were isolated very quickly. This serious illness causes people to bleed internally within a short period of time, often even to death. The chances of survival in Uganda are slightly better than in neighboring countries, they are around 50%. Compared to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Uganda has mastered the epidemic outbreaks since then relatively well. A system was established to recognize suspected cases at the base and to involve other instances. Ebola suspects can be diagnosed and isolated within 24-48 hours.
In mid-2008, a Dutch tourist died of the Marburg virus. She had visited bat caves in western Uganda. Bat species are considered to be potential carriers of the disease. In autumn 2012 the dangerous disease reappeared in Uganda. At the beginning of October 2014, the outbreak was limited to one and in November 2017 to a few cases in the east of the country.
Although there are currently no cases of the Zika virus in Uganda, it was first discovered in 1947 in the so-called Zika forest, which means “overgrown”, near Entebbe. There is now a virus institute there, operated by 400 researchers, some of them international, which investigates suspected viral diseases for all of East Africa.
The so-called nodding disease, which has been increasing in northern Uganda since the end of 2011, has received far less attention in the media. Mainly children and adolescents become ill. This serious illness, which has not yet been researched, is accompanied by seizures, leads to intellectual disability and often ends fatally, sometimes after years of suffering. So far, there have only been guesses as to the cause, such as poor diet and hygiene, or a connection with onchocerciasis. Treatment centers have been set up to treat those affected.
HIV / AIDS
In public opinion, Uganda and AIDS belong together like two twins. This is mainly due to the fact that Uganda – not least because of President Yoweri Museveni’s commitment – has not made this disease taboo, ie that figures on the spread of AIDS have never been kept under wraps. Thanks to this openness, which brought many well-known AIDS researchers and aid funds into the country, Uganda was able to establish one of the most progressive AIDS control programs in the world. As early as 1987, the AIDS organization TASO founded, which is still very involved in advising people affected by HIV / AIDS, the so-called counseling. There is not much talk about sexuality or AIDS in Uganda’s families. This is where Straight Talk Radio can help. In cooperation with young people, a program was created, both on the radio and as a newspaper, which not only offers information but also addresses many questions from young listeners and readers. Hundreds of parents with AIDS in Uganda have written ” memory books” for their children in recent years. Henning Mankell writes about this in his book “I die, but memories live”.
Unfortunately, in recent years many Ugandans have felt a dangerous sham security from the disease. Ignorance and misinformation, such as that the circumcision of men could prevent HIV infection or the alleged cure with antiretroviral drugs, contributed significantly to this. Unfortunately, the HIV infection rate among 15- to 49-year-olds rose to around 7.4%, but the rate fell again to 5.7% in 2018. Uganda is in the middle of the African field. Uganda started the fight against discrimination against HIV-positive people with a beauty pageant. Be chosen Miss and Mr Y +. The Y + stands for “Youth positive”. The young participants in the competition had to present their own story of how they deal with HIV infection.
AIDS continues to have devastating economic effects: Basically, you have to train two people for every job you need, as you can assume that one of them will die of AIDS in the next 10 years.