KAMPALA, Civil Society Organizations and service beneficiaries have decried the low absorption of PEPFAR-funded healthcare workers, saying Uganda is at risk of losing critical, well-trained and committed health workers if the government does not regularize the already-trained staff who were funded by PEPFAR, the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Uganda currently has a human resource gap of over 25,000 healthcare workers and a high level stakeholders dialogue held in Kampala recently saw service beneficiaries emphasizig the urgent need to absorb the PEPFAR-funded health workers in the government system or the gains made in the fight against HIV would be lost.

The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the International Community of Women living with HIV, Eastern Africa, (ICWEA) and supported by USAID/PATH/Advocacy for Better Health (ABH).

PEPFAR, through its partnership with Uganda, complements the Ugandan government's efforts in addressing the Human Resources for Health (HRH) shortage as a key partner in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda. The support is aimed at scaling up HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment interventions in light of the rising HIV prevalence in the country.

PEPFAR, through its implementing partners in Uganda, supported the recruitment of health workers especially medical officers, pharmacists, dispensers, clinical officers, laboratory technologists, laboratory technicians, laboratory assistants, enrolled nurses, and enrolled midwives for regional referral hospitals, general hospitals and health centre IIIs and IVs.

Health workers recruited under this support were contracted by the implementing partners and seconded to identified hospitals and health centers. The contract was for one year with a provision for extension to two years subject to availability of funds and performances of the health workers (District Service Commissions of Uganda/PEPFAR Human Rights for Health recruitment support districts).



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