The country is making improvements and progress in the coverage and provision of health services, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Aceng, has told Parliament.
The Minister said that although challenges still exist, the coverage of health services is manifested in the increased coverage of health facilities in rural communities.
Dr. Aceng, who was delivering a statement to Parliament on the state of health service delivery in Uganda, said that out of the 290 constituencies in the country, only 29 have not been covered with Health Centre IVs. The Minister made the statement to Parliament on Tuesday 12 March 2019.
She added that even the 132 sub-counties without a health centre at all are being planned for.
“Cabinet directed the Ministry of Finance in 2018 to obtain a loan for construct a Health Centre III in each of the 132 sub counties; we submitted the request in 2018 for Shs190 billion for construction equipment,” she said.
The Health Ministry, Aceng said, is working to extend health services to hard to reach parts of the country such as Karamoja and island communities of Buvuma, Kalangala, Namayingo, Mayuge and Namisindwa. She also said that the Ministry requires Shs155 billion to set up a hospital in each of the five districts.
Aceng however decried the dire need for medical consultants and specialists in the country to address the non-communicable diseases which she said are on a rise in the country.
“Currently there is a gap of 219 clinical specialists and 550 support cadres at National and Regional referral levels in the public sector,” she said.
Aceng appealed to government to urgently provide Shs5.4 billion to recruit specialists for the 13 regional referral hospitals and the 14 general hospitals which have been rehabilitated.
The Minister also hailed the progress made in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS saying that Uganda was on track to achieve the 90-90-90 targets by 2030.
She said that the coverage of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) among infected adults and children has increased to 86 per cent, which is over one million of the 1.3 million people estimated to be living with the virus.
She said “We are on track to achieve the second 90-90-90 which means that 90 percent of people estimated to be living with HIV know their status, 90 percent are on treatment and 90 percent of those on treatment achieve viral load reduction,” she said.
Aceng applauded government for committing extra Shs50 billion to the fight against HIV/AIDS saying this bridge the gap created by refusal by the US government to provide the required funds.
“The US government has clearly stated that they will not provide the required Shs50 billion for HIV treatment, if this is not provided many people will drop from treatment,” she said.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, however said that the Report lacked an update on critical areas such as the training of neurosurgeons and had no required action points for the House to consider.
She directed the House Committee on Health to consider the Report, prepare action points and a motion for Parliament’s consideration.