KAMPALA – On September 3, the U.S. Mission in Uganda is celebrating the successful conclusion of the Voucher Plus Activity, a project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand and improve access to quality maternal and newborn services in 35 districts in Northern and Eastern Uganda. As a result of the assistance from the American people, the activity enabled over 194,800 safe deliveries at 146 private health facilities.
The USAID Voucher Plus Activity, which started in January 2016, ensured that poor pregnant women have access to quality maternal health care and family planning services by providing them with a health care voucher at a fee of UGX 4000. The voucher enabled the women to access maternal and newborn services from private health providers within their geographic area. USAID also worked with private healthcare providers to deliver quality, safe births and newborn services through training, equipping the facilities, linking the facilities to district health teams for vital supplies, licensing, and reporting into the national health information systems.
USAID recognizes the increasing role that the private sector plays in reducing preventable maternal and child deaths. Public–private partnerships for health leverage relative strengths and weaknesses of both sectors to improve the health of Ugandans.
According to Christine Namayanja, Chief of Party, “The partnership built between the district and private providers will enable private health facilities to take charge and continue to provide quality affordable, and equitable health care to their communities.”
USAID’s maternal and child health programs ensure that all women and children have the same opportunities for a healthy life, regardless of where they are born. USAID Office Director for Health and HIV program Heather Smith-Taylor says, “Over the last five years, USAID has provided over $1 billion to improve health outcomes and reduce HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Over that period, we have provided approximately $80 million to improve maternal and newborn health.”
For over five decades, the U.S. government through USAID has invested in improving the health of the Ugandan people through quality reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services; prevention of malaria; control of HIV; and response to emerging pandemic threats including Ebola and COVID-19.