Integration of refugee health services into the Ministry of Health National Services in Uganda
Submitted by: Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng, Ministry of Health, Uganda
Email: Dr. Tom Aliti, Health Response Coordinator: [email protected]
Social: Twitter: @MinofHealthUG
Introduction to the project
2019 - 2024
The health response to refugees in Uganda is integrated with that of the host communities. The response is guided by:
- Health Sector Development Plan (HSDP) 2015/16 - 2019/20 which provides the strategic direction and guides the operations in the health sector in the medium term, highlighting how it will contribute to Uganda’s 2nd National Development Plan (NDP II) and the 2nd National Health Policy (NHP II) and to the overall Vision 2040.
- Uganda’s Health Sector Integrated Refugee Response Plan (HSIRRP) which is an addendum to the HSDP, supplementing service delivery in the refugee hosting communities, to meet the needs of everyone in the targeted areas.
- UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- UNICEF, The United Nations Children's Fund
- WHO, World Health Organization
Main activities of the Good Practice
Uganda’s Health Sector Integrated Refugee Response Plan (HSIRRP) guides service delivery in refugee hosting districts. UNHCR has representation at the Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC), attends the Technical Working Groups, and is a member of the Health Development partner group. UNHCR and refugees are represented on the Global Fund Country Coordination Mechanism to help ensure resources needed to respond to new groups of refugees arriving are included in the country proposal submission.
Leaderships and coordination
Ministry of Health and District Health Offices at a strategic level, chair the coordination of the refugee health services. The refugee health NGOs are part of the district extended health teams in the refugee hosting districts. A steering committee for HSIRRP has been established and a secretariat established.
Integration in the Ministry of Health vertical programmes
Refugees have been included in the HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, nutrition and neglected tropical diseases programmes. Refugees are included in the quantification and delivery of the required supplies and items.
72% of the 101 health facilities are government owned and medicines and supplies are delivered and health workers seconded by the government. Government has upgraded eight mini-hospitals (Health centre IV) near the refugee settlements to provide surgical services to refugees and nationals located in the vicinity of the settlements. This change has reduced the pressure on regional referral hospitals and increased access to referral services.
Refugee health information system
The Ministry of Health reviewed the National Health Management Information System and included refugees in order to help them monitor refugee access to health services and to make data available for future planning.
Outbreak preparedness and response activities
The Ministry of Health has integrated refugees into the national preparedness and response plans, activities and funding. The Ministry of Health led the response for Cholera outbreaks among refugees and preparation activities for Ebola.
Results of the Good Practice
- Integration of service delivery for refugees and Ugandan nationals.
- Integration of the health work force providing services for refugees and Ugandan nationals.
- Streamlining deliveries of medicine and medical supplies to health facilities within refugee settlements and host communities.
- Integration of refugees into the National Health Information System including reporting of disaggregated data.
- Improving health financing to support public health interventions in refugee settlements.
- Improved leadership, coordination and management for refugee health response.