U.S. Grants Uganda U.S.$20 Million for Health

The United State government, through USAID, is giving a $20 million grant for Uganda’s reproductive health care system.

According to a press statement last week, the money will improve accessibility to family planning health services.

Marie Stopes International (MSI) will be the implementing agency. ‘This funding will support voluntary family planning services across 111 districts in Uganda through 24 mobile outreach teams. Three teams deployed in high HIV prevalence areas and high-risk communities will provide integrated HIV testing and counseling.

The program will also provide free voluntary family planning services in Karamoja through two mobile outreach teams and a clinic based in Moroto,’ statement reads in part.

In order to increase family planning service utilization rates, the USAID Long Term Family Planning Bridge Activity will improve health care sector systems, improve the quality of services, and integrate family planning into other reproductive health services, such as cervical cancer screening, sexually transmitted infection diagnosis and treatment, and HIV testing.

Commenting on the family planning services program, Margaret Sancho, Director of USAID’s Health and HIV Office, stressed the importance of this program, because it will help both Ugandan’s in urban and remote areas to access quality family planning services.

She said, “Expanding family planning and other reproductive health care services, not only to urban areas but to the poorest and most rural areas of Uganda, will build a g foundation for a healthy population and will be a significant step in the overall development of the country.”

The program will engage over 200 members of the Blue Star network of private health care facilities, providing mentoring and supportive supervision. It will also enhance the ability of public sector providers to deliver quality comprehensive family planning services.

Blue Star Healthcare Network is a franchise of providers operated by Marie Stopes Uganda (MSU) to scale up coverage of high quality reproductive health services in order to reach the underserved in Uganda.

For several years now officials at the Ministry of Health have been complaining the department (Reproductive Health Department in the Ministry of Health) is poorly funded this has hindered the sector to deliver standard quality health services.

Source : East African Business Week

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