The Ministry of Health has on Tuesday presented its achievements in regards to 2016 NRM election manifesto.
While presenting the Ministry’s performance report at Office of the President in Kampala, the Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng announced that access to healthcare has improved from 75% in 2010 to now 86%.
“Access to healthcare went up from 75% in 2010 to now 86%. The health facility availability in both Government and private sector has also increased,” she said.
She noted that 181 hospitals in 2019 have been added raising the number to 222 Health Center IVs from 193 in 2015.
In 2015, the Minister said Uganda had 1,383 Health Center IIIs while in 2019 this increased to 1,510. The Health Center IIs also increased from 2,790 to 3,364 in 2019.
“Our focus is now on improving the functionality and quality of services in these health facilities to make sure that they are 100% functional,” she said.
Aceng also announced that hand washing with soap and water has increased from 34% to 86% during the COVID-19 pandemic period adding that the practice needs to be sustained to reduce diseases related to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Statistics coming from Health Management System shows that diseases related to hygiene and sanitation have reduced in the hospitals.
The Minister noted that her Ministry is advocating for establishment of breastfeeding points at workplaces.
“The Ministry is advocating for creation of breastfeeding corners at all work places and there is need to follow up on the practice so that breastfeeding mothers can continue feeding for at least 2 years,”
She reported that several institutions including Parliament have already created breastfeeding corners.
On sexual reproductive, maternal child adolescence health services, the Minister reported that 62% (1,018,000) pregnant women were reported to have delivered in public and private not for profit facilities in financial year 2018/19.
Government through the National Medical Stores procured and distributed kits to health facilities.
450 beds specialized women and neonatal hospital at Mulago was launched by President Museveni in October 2018 and is now fully functional.
The Ministry successful conducted a mass measles and Rubella campaign targeting 18,100,000 children under 15 years.
Aceng reported that the target was surpassed and 106% of targeted children were vaccinated.
“A total of 19,441,348 children were vaccinated giving a total of 106% coverage.”
During the same campaign, Aceng reported that oral polio vaccines were given out targeting 8.4 million children under 5 years and a total of 7,905,924 children were vaccinated giving 93% coverage.
Antiretroviral therapy coverage among HIV infected adults and children has increased to 86%.
“Out of the 1.3 million people estimated to be HIV positive, over 1,198,445 are on treatment.”
This is progress she said shows that Uganda is on track to achieve 90-90-90 HIV/AIDS targets by 2020 for the first track strategy to end AIDS by 2030.
In the 2018/19 financial year, Aceng said 91% (29,475) out of 32,485 HIV positive pregnant women not on antiretroviral therapy received the medicine to eliminate mother to child HIV/AIDS transmission.
Transmission of HIV from mother to child fell to less than 3,000 babies during the year.
Regarding TB and leprosy control, the Minister noted that Uganda remains among the 30 main burdened TB countries in the world with an estimated incident cases of about 80,000 TB cases annually.
She however added that service delivery had been intensified and this has saved over 180,000 lives from TB.
Mobile X-rays for TB screening she said have been procured and distributed in the prison, KCCA and districts of Kamuli, Bududa, Katakwi, Kaabong and Isingiro.
“Our overall staffing level in the public health facilities is at 76%. The target by 2018 was 80%,” she said.
She however added that creation of new districts and upgrading of health facilities increased the need to more health workers to handle the existing health facilities.
“This made us fall short of the target.”
Whereas there are improvements in staffing levels, she said there are still shortages in critical cadres such as doctors which are 51%, dispensers at 45%, pharmacists at 50%, theater staff at 32% among others.
“More than 500 staff housing units have been put up at different hospitals and health centres.”
26 twin staff houses were constructed with support from Gavi in 15 Districts and Commissioned in 2018.
68 staff housing units are under construction in Karamoja sub region.
Others are in Kabale, Soroti, Regional Referral Regional, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital among others.
Regarding construction of new Hospitals, she said 35 districts don’t have any Hospital.
However, some districts such as Amuria, Kaberamaido, Kobogo, Kasana Luweero and Mukono had their Hospitals upgraded to Health Center IVs.
Functionalizing of Health Center IVs in every Constituency, of the 296 Constituencies, 69 do not have Health Center IVs.