Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in Eastern Uganda (RHITES-East)
Through a $64.8 million, five-year award from the US Agency for International Development, IntraHealth International is helping the government of Uganda expand access to and use of high-quality health services across 23 districts. The initiative, called the Regional Health Integration to Enhance Services in Eastern Uganda (RHITES-East) activity, will reach some 5.7 million people in Eastern Uganda and Karamoja with services for HIV/AIDS; malaria; tuberculosis; nutrition; maternal, newborn, and child health; family planning; and more.
Uganda has made notable health and development progress in the past decade: decreasing poverty, improving education, reducing child mortality by half, increasing life expectancy, and almost doubling the modern contraceptive prevalence rate. Yet the country is still far from its goal of universal health coverage. Rapid population growth, high unwanted fertility, and a high burden of disease all threaten the progress Uganda has made. Reaching rural, pastoral, and the lowest-income Ugandans with equitable services has remained a challenge.
The RHITES-East project area comprises largely rural populations underserved by the current health system. It also suffers from higher poverty rates and greater food insecurity while lagging behind the nation in health services coverage and use.
The project works with district health officials to strengthen the districts’ health systems as well as community and social structures that generate stronger demand for services and hold the health systems accountable for equitable access and quality. Key pillars of the project’s strategy include improving data use, integrating health services, digital health solutions, quality, and a special focus on youth and gender.