In order to make a good start with the new strategic partnership Health Systems Advocacy Partnership, Wemos’ director Anke Tijtsma and Policy Researcher Global Health Corinne Hinlopen are visiting Uganda this week. They email their first impressions.
During our field visit in Uganda, we visited many clinics together with our strategic partner Amref. It was striking to hear the head of a District Health Team in Central Uganda tell how frustrating it is to have too few staff on all locations in the district. The consequence is overworked staff. Some health workers may even decide to turn their backs to the health profession.
We also heard a number of doctors saying that they would like to take up a public health study. ‘Then you are at least dealing with prevention and not only with treating sick people.’
The permanent lack of the most basic medication is a big problem to many doctors, nurses and midwives. It is frustrating to receive people to the consultation and not being able to give any medication. A midwife tells how harsh it is not to be able to give any oxytocin to women who would need it during or after delivery.
We are facing the facts of reality in Africa. There is a huge lack of staff and basic medication in many African countries. Within our strategic partnership, we hope to draw special attention to that problem in the Netherlands and Uganda, but also at WHO. The global level should not be forgotten. As Gloria at the Ugandan Amref office aptly says: ‘You come to a point where you want to change things.’
Read more about Health Systems Advocacy Partnership