The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the UK-Uganda Alliance hosted the 3rd UK-East Africa Health Improvement and Investment Summit between 22 – 23 March 2018, under the theme “Strengthening Investments to Improve Healthcare”. The summit is aimed at promoting investment in the health sector as well as strengthening quality improvement.
Representing the President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, State Minister for Finance, Hon. Gabriel Ajedra highlighted the urgent need for identification of opportunities and promotion of foreign investment in the Health Sector in Uganda and across East Africa coupled with knowledge sharing on cost effective innovations to improve healthcare.
“This Summit is in line with the just concluded East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Retreat held in February this year, during which health sector financing and development in the East African region was discussed and therefore demonstrated our commitment to achieve a robust health system and promote healthy lives for the people of Uganda and East Africa at large.” Hon. Ajedra said.
Hon. Ajedra called for partnerships between the foreign investors and regional players through business models like Joint Ventures. He added that the East African region therefore has endless opportunities which would be profitable under strategic Investment.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine called for formation of strong partnerships by the end of the summit. “Government of Uganda has created a favorable environment for strategic investments and partnerships to improve healthcare” she said.
Dr. Atwine commended and appreciated the UK Government for being the second largest donor in Uganda. “We are grateful for the continued support towards tackling some of the greatest public health challenges in Uganda” she noted.
Among the challenges facing the health sector in Uganda, Dr. Diana Atwine highlighted; Lack of adequately trained health workforce, dearth in advanced infrastructure and modern equipment to handle specialized cases and the need to finalize National Health Insurance bill.
Jeannie Barugh, the Head of DFID, Uganda, called for more funding of the health sector. “The health sector is heavily underfunded and this is lagging healthcare development in Uganda” she noted. Barugh added the importance of building confidence in financial systems and promoting transparency and accountability to enable the formation of strong partnerships.
One of the panel discussions focused on “Improving the quality of healthcare in East Africa” and panelists called for focus on strengthened community healthcare. “There needs to be a paradigm shift- healthcare has to be made at home at the community level. Communities have the capacity and resources to positively change the dynamics of health in Uganda. This will significantly contribute to a reduced disease burden due to preventable diseases” one of the panelists stressed.
The Summit also served as a platform for the launch of the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign in Uganda. During the launch of the campaign, State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties, Hon. Sarah Opendi reiterated the commitment of Government of Uganda in raising the profile of nurses countrywide. She added that nurses make up to 72% of the health workforce and are pivotal in achieving health sector development plan targets.
“Nurses support other health cadres in providing care to patients and their roles are extended to community Health. The gender profile of Nursing has further inspired woman emancipation, motivated girl child Education and fought social injustice.” Hon. Opendi noted.
‘Nursing Now’ is a three- year global campaign aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage by maximizing the contribution of nurses in the various healthcare systems. The campaign aims to improve perception of nurses, enhance their influence and maximize their contributions to ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to health and healthcare.
The 3rd UK-East Africa Health Improvement and Investment summit brought together a wide range of participants from Policy makers, Investors, Academia, to Healthcare managers, Development partners and other key stakeholders
We were blessed to have our very own doctor Romano Byaruhanga feature as one of the guest speakers at the event. He gave an amazing key note speech.
We remain KMCH, serving you with dignity and holistic care