Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya on the east, Tanzania, Rwanda and Lake Victoria on the south, Democratic Republic of Congo on the west, and South Sudan on the north.
Population estimate (2018): 44,903,111 people
Capital City: Kampala
Currency used: Ugandan shilling
Gross National Income per capita (2013) (PPP international $): 1
Time zone: GMT + 2
Population growth rate (2018): 3.28%
Total fertility rate per woman: 6
Languages: English, Swahili, Luganda, Lusogo.
Key ethnic groups: Baganda 16.5%, Banyankole 9.6%, Basoga 8.8%, Bakiga 7.1%, Iteso 7%, Langi 6.3%, Bagisu 4.9%, Acholi 4.4%, Lugbara 3.3%, other 32.1%.
Religion: 45.1% Protestant, 39.3% Roman Catholic, 13.7% Muslim, 1.6% other, 0.2% religiously unaffiliated.
Climate: Tropical and generally rainy with two dry seasons from December to February and from June to August. Temperatures vary considerably in different parts of the country, with average temperatures ranging between 20-25ºc.
It is generally fertile and well-watered. The country lies across the equator and can be divided into three main geographical areas; swampy valleys with many lakes and rivers, a fertile plateau with forested hills, and a desert region.
Life expectancy at birth (2016): 60/65 (male/female)
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years: 333/243 (per 1000 population, 2016)
Total expenditure on health per capita (2013): $113
Number of doctors per 1000 population (2014): 0.093
Nursing and midwifery personnel density (per 1000 population, 2013): 0.648
Neonatal mortality rate (per 1000 live births, 2016): 21.4 [17.2-26.5]
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100.000 live births, 2015): 343 [247-493]
Births attended by skilled health personnel (2008): 57.4%
Top 10 causes of death (2008):
HIV/AIDS: 34.346 thousand people / 13.29% of total
Influenza and Pneumonia: 28.284 / 10.98%
Diarrhoeal diseases: 16.573 / 6.41%
Malaria: 12.487 / 4.83%
Stroke: 12.147 / 4.70%
Road traffic accidents: 10.675 / 4.13%
Low birth weight: 9.831 / 3.80%
Birth trauma: 9.670 / 3.74%
Congenital anomalies: 8.438 / 3.26%
Coronary heart disease: 8.428 / 3.26%
Distribution of causes of deaths in children under 5 (2008):
Neonatal (e.g. preterm births, asphyxia, severe infections): 21%
Diarrhoeal diseases (post neo-natal): 14%
The healthcare system in Uganda comprises public and private sectors. These two sectors contribute equally to healthcare service delivery by approximately 50% each.
The public sector consists of various government health services that are decentralised within national, district and sub-district systems. At the lowest level there are volunteers in villages facilitating health promotion, service delivery, community participation and empowerment. At the district level are health centres II and III. Health centres II function as the first point of interaction between communities and the formal health sector by providing outpatient and community outreach services. The health centres III provide fairly basic preventative and curative services. The next level within the health centres III broad services are general hospitals, which offer services like surgeries, blood transfusion; they also function as research and training centres. Regional referrals offer a higher standard with more specialised services. National referral hospitals offer the most comprehensive care and the highest standard of specialist services.
The private sector consists of individual private health practitioners, health centres run by not-for profit and for-profit organisations, and traditional medicine practitioners.
The biggest challenges the healthcare systems in Uganda face are a significant shortage of healthcare professionals (in part due to unsatisfactory salaries) and affordable drugs, a relative lack of trust in health workers by users, high treatment costs, long distances to facilities (especially in rural areas), long waiting time, and a shortage of services for particularly vulnerable citizens, such as the poor and elderly. Surveys indicate that citizens’ dissatisfaction with public healthcare services leads many to turn to traditional medicine practitioners or private facilities, although these are often too expensive for a large proportion of the population.