Uganda is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. Landlocked, it currently ranks 161 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI 2013). Uganda has been affected by almost 20 years of insecurity due to attacks from the “Lord’s Resistance Army” (LRA).
The LRA targeted children as soldiers because they were easier to kidnap and forcibly indoctrinate to its' violent ideals. Children were kidnapped, abused, and forced to commit horrendous acts to survive until they became "brainwashed" into violent killing machines.
While recent peace has boosted its development, the new refugees crises put a serious strain on Uganda's already-weakened healthcare system.
At least 20,000 Ugandan children were abducted by the LRA.
Violent roadblocks to development
Communities in North Uganda have suffered greatly. The LRA attacked communities in North Uganda for years and the area is now the poorest in the nation.
Access to health care services for women and children remains a critical concern as the severe violence slowed development of infrastructure and quality health care services.
Peace finally began in August 2006, and the country made significant progress towards its 2015 Millennium Development Goals, but major challenges to maternal and child health remain.
Refugee crisis in Uganda
Fighting in Uganda’s neighboring countries has pushed over hundreds of thousands of refugees into border areas within the last few years. Homes are looted, towns change hands between forces, and both men and women are often raped as a weapon of war.
This puts intense pressure on a system that is still struggling to recover and meet the needs of its own people. It is vital that enough support is in place to help the system heal and continue to grow.
Most recently, refugees have fled into Uganda to escape conflict in South Sudan
, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)