While 75 percent of the population lives within five kilometers of a health facility in Uganda, quality of services is poor, stockouts of essential medicines is common, and the provider absence rates are among the lowest for where there is data in the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative Vital Signs. The burden of disease in Uganda is predominantly communicable diseases, with malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, as well as respiratory, diarrheal, epidemic-prone and vaccine-preventable diseases as the leading causes of illness and death.
Though Uganda’s general government budget has increased over the years, allocations to the health sector have not. Out-of-pocket expenditure is a significant problem—according to the new Health Financing Strategy, “over 20 percent of the population spends more than 10 percent of their total household consumption expenditure on health care.” Out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of total health expenditure was 41 percent in 2014.
PAI partners with local civil society organizations to catalyze action for improved policy and financing in order to strengthen the primary health care system.