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By Goodluck Musinguzi

More than 5,525 children were delivered in health facilities in Karamoja region in financial year 2020/2021 at 33,712 children compared to 28,187 children in the year 2019/2020 according to Ministry of Health. Unfortunately, maternal death increased from 24 in 2019/2020 to 28 in financial year 2020/2021.

Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says there is significant improvement in health service delivery in Karamoja region.

Glad to learn that our Ministry of Health clinical mentorship program has taken shape in Karamoja. Here health workers at lower facilities are taken through skilling and retooling sessions to improve their practical/hands on skills in different areas of health care”, Dr Diana said

Clinical mentorship is Mentoring offered to clinicians in a structured and proven pathway to expand their skills , overcome obstacles and build on their strengths to make positive choices and develop their practical and business skills.

Dr Diana Atwine met top health officials in the 9 districts of Karamoja region to talk about health service delivery before going to visit various projects and health centers.

“This morning, we started with a Performance review meeting for Health services delivery in the 9 districts of Karamoja. Special focus was put on Maternal and Child Health services, the regional referral system, among other factors affecting services delivery”, said Dr Diana.

Alcohol use is highest in Karamoja (47.8% of the population) which is close 1.200.000 people  and West Nile (16.1%) sub-regions. Busoga sub-region has the lowest alcohol use of 4.4%.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) compiles Annual Health Sector Performance Reports (AHSPR)
as an institutional Monitoring and Evaluation requirement. The AHSPR documents the sector
progress, challenges, lessons learnt and propose ways of moving the health sector forward
in relation to the National Development Plan (NDP).

This report is the first health sector annual report during the NDP III (2020/21 – 2024/25) period. The report mainly focuses on the progress in implementation of the health subprogram interventions and actions under the Human Capital Development Program (HCDP) Program Implementation Action Plan for theFinancial Year (FY) 2020/21.

It also includes assessment of the LG health sector performance as per the District League Table, Regional League Table and Health Facility performance for
General Hospitals (GHs) and Health Center (HC) IVs using the Standard Unit of Outputs (SUO).
The report will be presented and discussed during the 27th Health Sector Joint Review Mission
(JRM) in October 2021. The outcomes of the sector performance review are expected to guide
planning, programming and budget allocation for the next FY 2022/23.

Strengthen the Regional technical supervision and mentorship structure to support the
LGs in ensuring continuity of essential services amidst COVID-19 pandemic to reverse the
stagnation / decline in immunization coverage and other services with focus on poorly
performing LGs.

LGs to conduct targeted outreaches to communities with low service coverage.

Increased community sensitization about Family Planning and Hepatitis B testing and
vaccination to increase uptake, while ensuring availability of the commodities and supplies.
Scale-up cervical cancer screening services (HPV) beyond the RRHs to general hospitals
and HC IVs.

There is need to train more specialists to address gaps at the Specialized and referral
hospitals. In addition, MoFPED to increase wage provisions for health to fill the gaps at
all levels. The Health and District Service Commissions to expedite recruitment of health
workers to minimize failure to absorb funds due to late deployments.

Ministry of Public Service and MoFPED to fast track the restructuring of the health sector
staffing norms.

Increase funding for EMHS to address the stock out of key commodities like laboratory
supplies, Personal Protective Equipment and other essential medicines like ferrous
sulphate/folic acid, afecting achievement of the health outcomes.

Equipping HC IVs with blood storage equipment and transfusion supplies to provide
CeMNOC. Construction of staf houses and appropriately equip all theatres for the new HC

MoFPED and partners to provide funding for operationalization of the EMS Policy.

Revision of the Essential Health Care Package and enhance services at lower-level health
facilities to decongest the referral hospitals for provision of secondary and tertiary care.

Mitigating of the bottle-necks in project implementation and performance especially by
ensuring timely procurement.

Increase GoU funding to the health sector in addition to adaptation of alternate in-country
financing for health like the National Health Insurance Scheme.

Streamline of budget funding towards the health sector priorities

Strategic Interventions

The core NDP III interventions for the health sector are;

1. Focus on prevention and control of high burden diseases (Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, Neglected
Tropical Diseases, Hepatitis), epidemic prone diseases and malnutrition across all age
groups emphasizing Primary Health Care (PHC) Approach.
2. Prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) with specific focus on
cancer, cardiovascular diseases and trauma.
3. Improve the functionality of the health system to deliver quality and afordable preventive,
promotive, curative and palliative health care services.
4. Improve maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health services at all levels of care.
5. Increase access to inclusive safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with emphasis on
increasing coverage of improved toilet facilities and handwashing practices.
6. Increase access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&R) with special focus to
family planning services and harmonized information.
7. Increase financial risk protection for health with emphasis on implementing the National
Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
8. Promote health research, innovation and technology uptake.
9. Establish and operationalize mechanisms for efective collaboration and partnership for
health at all levels.
10. Improve nutrition and food safety with emphasis on children aged under 5, school children,
adolescents, pregnant and lactating women and vulnerable groups.
11. Promote physical health activities and behavioral change across all categories of the

About Musinguzi Goodluck

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