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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Uganda faces malaria funding crisis as int’l donors withdraw support

Uganda’s Ministry of Health said on Friday, March 29, 2024, that international donors have significantly cut funding for malaria projects in the country over global crises, including conflicts and climate change.

Jimmy Opigo
Jimmy Opigo

Jimmy Opigo, Head of the National Malaria Control Division at the ministry, said this at a news conference in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

He said the withdrawal of external funding would have adverse effects on malaria control and treatment costs in the East African country.

“The cost of malaria control in public health has been 95 per cent donor dependent.

“The funding has been allocated to mosquito nets for prevention, residual indoor spraying, test kits for malaria, and first and second-line malaria treatment.

“And this treatment is in both the private and public sectors, which the donors have been subsidising,” said Opigo.

Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that the donors were turning their focus on global issues, like conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza as well as climate change activities.

Aceng also raised concerns about Uganda’s heavy reliance on donor funding for the health sector, revealing that 85 per cent of the country’s health budget for the financial year 2024/2025 was externally funded.

According to the World Health Organisation, Uganda has one of the highest malaria incidence rates in the world, accounting for about five per cent of all cases worldwide.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, out of every 10 sick people in Uganda, three have malaria.

Among children under five years of age admitted to hospitals, six out of 10 have malaria and face the risk of death.

Additionally, out of every 100 pregnant women, 20 have malaria, putting both their lives and the lives of their babies at risk.

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