(2010; 44 pages)
The development of this second National Health Policy (NHP II) has been informed by the National Development Plan (NDP) for the period 2010/11-2014/15, the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the new global dynamics. The NDP places emphasis on investing in the promotion of people’s health and nutrition which constitute a fundamental human right for all people. Constitutionally, the Government of Uganda (GoU) has an obligation to provide basic health services to its people and to promote proper nutrition and healthy lifestyles. The 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (as amended) further provides for all people in Uganda to enjoy equal rights and opportunities, have access to health services, clean and safe water and education, among many other things. Investing in the promotion of people’s health and nutrition ensures that they remain productive and contribute to national development.
The NHP II was developed through a participatory process involving twelve technical working groups (TWGs) whose membership was drawn from the Ministry of Health (MoH), relevant government ministries, Health Development Partners (HDPs), the private sector, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and local governments. Their task was to review the NHP I adopted in 1999, determine elements of the policy which were still appropriate and needed to be carried forward in the new policy and identify new and emerging issues that required policy guidance. The focus of NHP II shall be on health promotion, disease prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of disease. It will specifically prioritise the effective delivery of the Uganda National Minimum Health Care Package (UNMHCP), more efficient use of available health resources, strengthening public and private partnerships for health and strengthening of health systems. In the period of the NHP II and in line with global agendas, emphasis will be placed on attempts to achieve universal access to a minimum health care package as well as equitable and sustainable financing mechanisms. Uganda’s NHP I guided the health sector between 1999 and 2009. Over this period, a number of changes have occurred, for example, the increase in the burden of disease due to HIV/AIDS and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the negative health consequences of changing climate, new and emerging diseases, challenges in implementation of the decentralisation program and the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in health. In a broader context, former conflict areas are now relatively stable, and there is a new focus on recovery and development in those areas; there has been a significant increase in the number of districts; and the world inclusive of Uganda has been affected by globalisation and the recent global credit crunch. In an attempt to focus attention and resources on main goals, the international community in 2000 adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and three of these are directly related to health while most of the others address determinants of health. While significant progress has been made in aligning development assistance to country programmes, the country could still benefit from an even stronger alignment. All these call for a review of Uganda’s NHP to incorporate emerging issues and identify new strategies for action.