CSO’s push for health centered manifestos
A recent poll conducted in August 2014 by Columbia University reported that healthcare is the most important issue for Ugandan voters. Across two large public opinion surveys conducted in 2011 and 2014, voters cited healthcare as the most important issue for Parliament to address compared to joblessness, education or crime.
It is upon this background that a coalition of civil society organizations working for access to essential health services unveiled the ten point ‘Uganda Election 2016 health manifesto’.
The campaign seeks to compel political candidates vying for the different positions in the forthcoming general elections to prioritize delivery of essential, quality prevention and treatment health services in their manifestos.
Joshua Wamboga, Executive Director Uganda Network of Aids Service Organizations (UNASO) expressed concern over the persistent excuse of ‘lack of funding’ by politicians for failure to fulfill the heath needs of the electorate.
“Access to prevention and treatment are literally life and death political issues that should be taking center stage during our 2016 elections,” said Wamboga.
The demands contained in the manifesto include a demand to scale up per capita health financing from current levels of only $10.5 to the minimum recommended by WHO of $44 by 2021. Other priorities include increasing the remuneration of health workers and confronting high-level health finance related corruption cases.
The Millennium Declaration adopted unanimously by World leaders in 2000 set targets and goals aimed at promoting healthy and sustainable human development.
Dr. Hafisa Kasule, the WHO Uganda National Professional Officer for Non Communicable Diseases stressed the escalating trend of non-communicable diseases in most parts of Africa Uganda inclusive.
“Progress in improving health and well being of the Ugandan population requires reducing health inequalities not only through health systems strengthening but also through financial protection for health systems,” explained Dr. Kasule.
The coalition plans to meet with the different political parties as well as independent candidates to deliver this demand.