UNDP Donates Heavy-duty Washing Machines to Strengthen Uganda’s Health System
May 1, 2023
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has donated five heavy-duty washing machines to the Government of Uganda to strengthen health systems and build national resilience to public health emergencies. These machines will specially boost capacity for infection prevention and control in Uganda’s national and regional referral hospitals; namely, Mulago National Referral Hospital and Mbale, Mbarara, Masaka and Entebbe Regional Referral Hospitals.
The machines were received by Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, at UNDP offices in Kampala on Thursday, 20 April 2023. Dr. Atwine thanked UNDP for the support, noting that the installation of the heavy-duty washing machines will take services closer to the people and contribute to the fulfilment of health targets. “You are supporting health, you are supporting development, you are supporting life and you are contributing to our attainment of SDGs,” she said.
On her part, UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah said, “The handover signals UNDP’s commitment to contributing to health systems strengthening, and perhaps the first of our continued effort to provide strategic support for a more holistic approach to risk preparedness and health resilience at national level.”
Ms. Attafuah also commended the Government of Uganda for the strong leadership in the health sector, noting, “The recent public health emergency disruptions have shown us how integral health is for sustainable development.”
UNDP support to strategic health systems strengthening
Following the Ebola outbreak disease in September 2022, UNDP repurposed core resources and secured additional funding from the UNDP Crisis Bureau to contribute $1.3 million (approximately Shs 4.9 billion) to the national response. This support was directed at the following priority areas; risk communication and community engagement, strengthening response coordination at national and sub-national levels, infection prevention and control, human resource support with professionals recruited to serve in the response and socio-economic impact assessment and early recovery programming.
In partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, UNDP improved access to energy services for health facilities through provision of solar PV installations in 11 health centres IV across the country which has resulted in reliable energy access, improved health care and service delivery. Plans are underway to reach another 13 health centres IV.
UNDP is supporting the digitalization of health services through provision of a grant funding to The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG), a digital health and telemedicine company, to scale up telemedicine centered medical service delivery ecosystem for tourists countrywide, including 24/7 teleconsultation services via voice, text or video, mobile laboratory sample pick-up and on-demand delivery of medicine and other pharmaceuticals. Lessons from here will help us contribute to the health sector digitalization agenda.
In the field of health financing, UNDP is contributing to the sustainability of HIV and health financing through support to the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS and other health-related priorities in the national and subnational development plans and budgets.
As part of the effort to strengthen Uganda’s emergency response, UNDP partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Makerere University and the Uganda Virus Research Institute to support the Office of the Prime Minister to boost national resilience to multi-hazard-induced disaster risks and pandemics and strengthen capacity building for prevention and mitigation of health-related disaster risk.
Catalyzing multisectoral action for non-communicable diseases
Additionally, UNDP partnered with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to launch the global joint programme on multisectoral action for non-communicable diseases. This initiative seeks to catalyze a national whole-of-government and society response to non-communicable diseases; deliver concrete actions in terms of policy change and building capacity and political commitment for action within the United Nations Development System.