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US donates Shs125bn to Uganda

At least nine districts are set to benefit from a $32.8 million (about Shs125bn) fund donated by the US government to enhance health services in the Northern sub region of Lango.

The money provided, through a five-year Regional Health Program, will focus on areas of maternal and neonatal child health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The beneficiary districts include Alebtong, Amolatar, Apac, Lira, Oyam, Dokolo, Kole, Otuke, and Kwania which are estimated to accommodate a population of 2.3 million.

Mr Joakim Parker, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Uganda’s Mission Director, observed that the programme is essential and timely since the health and well-being of a country’s population are key to generating prosperity and progress.

“Whether it is controlling the spread of HIV, ensuring that new mothers and babies receive proper healthcare, or building stronger and more effective health systems, the United States invests in Uganda to see its people live up to their full potential,” Mr Parker said last week.

The programme which will also promotes the adoption of healthy behaviours by raising awareness at the individual, provider, and community levels of the importance of reducing delays in seeking care and lower sociocultural barriers to service uptake, was launched in Lira District last year.

“By leveraging and linking resources, the program will improve commodity access, promote effective operation and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment, and improve management and governance of health services,” the press statement issued by the US embassy adds in part.

The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health survey (UDHS, 2016) identified maternal mortality which is still high at 368 deaths per 100, 000 live births and malnutrition with 29 per cent of children under 5 short for their age and stunted, as some of the major challenges in the health sector.
Another 11 per cent of children were underweight according to the survey.

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