A project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs.


Malaria is the leading cause of death and illness in Uganda, affecting an entire population of 34.5 million people and accounting for 25-40% of all outpatient department visits, according to the Ministry of Health. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 11.8 million presumed or confirmed cases in 2011, nearly one case per three individuals. A Uganda Demographic and Health Survey from the same year showed that 60% of households owned at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN), and 47% of pregnant women and 43% of children under five years of age slept under an ITN the previous night. While these figures herald progress from earlier surveys, they also highlight existing commodity gaps in Uganda.

Working closely with the NMCP, many international partners have supported Uganda’s malaria control efforts to date. Chief among them, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced in 2013 that it would support the distribution of over 15.5 million nets in order to help the country cut malaria-related deaths by 70% by the end of 2015. Additionally, the President’s Malaria Initiative is distributing 1.2 million nets and supporting indoor-residual spraying, intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women, case management, monitoring and evaluation, and health systems strengthening. Other partners include DfID, World Vision, UNICEF, WHO, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

To sustain these gains, the United Against Malaria (UAM) partnership has harnessed the popularity of football to strengthen political will, build public support, and increase the use of prevention tools and malaria treatment in Uganda. It also seeks to boost domestic financing for malaria control, through public and private sector commitments. Despite Uganda’s growing economy, the government allocates just 2.5% (FY2009/2010) of its national budget to health, far from the 15% benchmark that African leaders committed to in the 2001 Abuja Declaration. 


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