Enabel, USAID and Uganda Government launched a health systems strengthening project in the North of Uganda.
The project, with a total amount of 8.75 million euros, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Belgian development agency, Enabel, and the Ministry of Health.
The health project is expected to strengthen health systems in the Acholi sub region in the north of the country. The project will improve access to health services, especially for the most vulnerable, through the Results Based Financing (RBF) approach.
RBF provides financial incentives, equipment and materials to health facilities, if agreed results have been achieved. It also subsidizes patient fees especially in private, not-for-profit health facilities and provides incentives to health workers.
Enabel has many years of expertise in Result-Based Financing, implemented in Uganda, but also in Cambodia, Benin, Rwanda, Burundi, Peru, Niger, and Senegal. Since 2015, Enabel is implementing RBF in the Rwenzori Sub-region and in West Nile in Uganda with funding from Belgian state.
This prompted the Uganda and US governments to request it to implement the initiative in the North of the country.
The activities supported by this project include; refurbishment of infrastructure and strengthening of the referral system; training en mentoring of health workers to capture patient data at various registers (OPD, laboratory, dispensing)to enable them make informed and timely decisions for cases that require immediate referrals. Others activities are; subsidized patient fees especially in private not-for-profit health facilities and provision of incentives to health facilities to motivate them to deliver quality services among others.
“The project will stimulate both the demand and supply side of the health services market. It will encourage individuals, households and communities to receive quality health services and vaccines, and at the same time inspire health workers to deliver high quality health services,”, Health Minister Dr. Aceng said.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda Rudi Veestraeten has hailed the RBF approach saying it stimulates health facilities to better use available resources and improve the delivery of health services.
Presently, the Ministry of Health faces challenges of providing the necessary human resources, medical equipment and supplies, and maintaining the infrastructure of health facilities. The USAID-funded project is expected to support the process of reforms of the health system and to prepare the foundation for implementation of universal health insurance.