Uganda

The need for accessible rehabilitation and assistive technology services is urgent and growing in Uganda. As in many low-income countries, Uganda is struggling to implement World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for establishing rehabilitation and assistive technology as essential components of quality health services within the framework of universal health coverage. Meanwhile, a rise in both communicable and non-communicable diseases—including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases—as well as injuries due to road traffic and violence and the health challenges associated with demographic ageing have contributed to a relatively high disability prevalence rate of 12.4% of Ugandans ages two and above . Uganda’s high disability rate is exacerbated by sexual abuse, discrimination, stigmatization, and marginalization of persons with disabilities. As a result, the growing need for rehabilitation and assistive technology services in Uganda is clear despite the limited available data to guide health policy at the national and regional levels.

The Government of Uganda has made a series of commitments to the rights of persons with disabilities, including legislative protections, social advancement policies, and quotas for political representation of persons with disabilities from the central government to the sub-county level. While the government has established a legal framework for disability, the national strategy for expanding access to rehabilitation and AT services requires strengthening. Moreover, people who require rehabilitation and assistive technology services but are not formally defined as persons with disabilities—such as the elderly—are not covered by disability laws and policies.

Momentum Wheels for Humanity, formerly UCP Wheels for Humanity, will lead implementation in Uganda drawing on more than 25 years of experience increasing access to mobility and developing rehabilitation services inclusive of assistive technology. As a first activity Momentum will ensure alignment with national and global rehabilitation and assistive technology priorities and actors including the World Health Organization, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, GATE, AT Scale, and R4D as well as other donor-funded initiatives to strengthen the provision of rehabilitation services, including assistive technologies.

The project will also work closely with relevant national and subnational actors at all health-care levels in the project catchment areas to collaboratively implement and evaluate assistive technology-inclusive rehabilitation service delivery models, support rehabilitation sector leaders to catalyze and strengthen a national agenda for rehabilitation in the health system, support workforce capacity development to improve rehabilitation care, generate new evidence about the integration of rehabilitation into health systems, and engage with stakeholders to use this new evidence for policy and planning.

 

Download the ReLAB-HS – Uganda 2 page brief

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU). JH-IIRU, within the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, leads the ReLAB-HS consortium. The Research Unit identifies effective solutions to the growing burden of injuries in low- and middle-income populations, influences public policy and practice, and advances the field of injury prevention throughout the world. Since its creation in 2008, JH-IIRU has led cutting-edge research in global injury prevention and control. JH-IIRU is active in over 30 countries around the globe, implementing a coordinated strategy involving research, education and practice. In recognition of its growing role as a leader in injury prevention, the Unit was designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention.

Momentum Wheels for Humanity, formerly UCP Wheels for Humanity, will lead implementation in Uganda drawing on more than 25 years of experience increasing access to mobility and developing rehabilitation services inclusive of assistive technology. As a first activity Momentum will ensure alignment with national and global rehabilitation and Assistive Technology (assistive technology) priorities and actors including the World Health Organization, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, GATE, AT Scale, and R4D as well as other donor-funded initiatives to strengthen the provision of rehabilitation services, including assistive technologies.

Physiopedia is working with rehabilitation organisations in multiple countries in Africa, including Uganda, to support workforce development activities. In Uganda, Physiopedia will continue to collaborate with universities and professional organisations to develop training resources that support workforce capacity development.