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).
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. Uganda also faces a serious flood of refugees entering the country in need of help.
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.
A heartbreaking toll
At least 20,000 Ugandan children were abducted by the LRA.
Refugee crisis in Uganda
Fighting in Uganda’s neighboring countries has pushed over 100,000 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.
Most recently, refugees have fled into Uganda to escape conflict in South Sudan
, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
“We ran from too many gunshots that went on throughout the night,”
said Bwema Matata, a Congolese refugee being transported from a border transit camp to Rwamanja refugee camp in Uganda. “My parents died. My siblings have been killed. So we had to run. We ran to the border."
Matata’s story is typical of the thousands of Congolese seeking refuge from the violence in their country. Most of the refugees are women and children, and many of the women are pregnant.
See our refugee page
for the most up-to-date statistics.
Our work in Uganda
We are working to restore a supportive healthcare system for Ugandans and the floods of refugees. We are doing the following to help the country meet its healthcare demands:
- Prenatal care
- HIV testing
- Care and medicine for Nodding Syndrome
- Training & support for Community Health workers
- Supporting the formation of emergency transport committees