New Group Unites Public and Private Sectors to Strengthen Uganda's Health Workforce

A new group, Health Works Uganda, has formed to strengthen Uganda’s health workforce by drawing on the power of public-private partnerships.

Uganda is one of 57 countries experiencing a critical shortage of health workers1 with rural Ugandans disproportionately affected. About half of all Uganda’s health services are provided by the private sector2. Effective public-private collaboration is essential to reaching Health Works Uganda’s vision of all Ugandans having equitable access to competent health workers providing quality health care. The group’s priority for its first year is improving the recruitment, retention, and motivation of frontline health workers. Frontline health workers are the first—and often the only—link to health care for millions of people and include many types of health workers who are trained to provide a range of preventive and basic health care services.

Health Works Uganda specifically grew out of a recent meeting in Kampala, where representatives from the US and Uganda governments, global corporations, Ugandan companies and private health associations, and member organizations of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition—of which IntraHealth International is a founding member—came together to see how to best collaborate toward the goals of the Government of Uganda’s human resources for health strategic plan.

IntraHealth International’s Uganda office took part in planning and conducting the meeting in collaboration with the Frontline Health Workers Coalition. Dr. Vincent Oketcho, IntraHealth’s chief of party, Uganda Capacity Program, gave the meeting’s keynote address. He will chair the steering committee for Health Works Uganda. In addition to IntraHealth, other members of the steering committee include representatives from SMS Media, Umeme, Uganda Private Midwives Association, CDC Uganda, Uganda National Association of Private Hospitals, Jhpiego, PACE, Save the Children International Uganda, White Ribbon Alliance, and Uganda Health Marketing Group.

1. World Health Organization,

2. Ministry of Health, Uganda. Health sector strategic plan III 2010/11-2014/15.