WORLD HEALTH DAY 2024: Combined Efforts Needed To Fight Non Communicable Diseases in Uganda

WORLD HEALTH DAY 2024: Combined Efforts Needed To Fight Non Communicable Diseases in Uganda

WORLD HEALTH DAY 2024:  Combined Efforts Needed To Fight Non Communicable Diseases in Uganda

Tshepo Tlhacoane, South Africa

We at the PLATFORM for the NEEDY (PLANE) join the international community in commemorating World Health Day. The theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My Health, My Right,’ and was chosen to bring attention to the fact that many countries are not adequately implementing laws and policies that ensure that citizens are able to gain access to health services. Statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that in 2021, 4.5 billion people worldwide were not fully covered by essential health services.

The right to health is one of the most important human rights due to its close relationship with other key human rights. The right to health is intimately connected to the right to life, human dignity, equality, environment, food, and water. The importance of the right to health is confirmed by the fact that over 140 countries have recognized health as a human right in their constitutions. PLANE would therefore like to use this day to celebrate the gains made in realizing the right to health, but also bring attention to things that could lead to a greater realization of the right to health in Uganda.

Uganda is burdened with both communicable and noncommunicable diseases. In 2016, the five leading causes of death in the country included communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, respiratory tract infections, and diarrhea diseases. According to WHO, in 2019, noncommunicable diseases accounted for 36% of deaths in Uganda.

Creating Awareness in Community about Malaria Prevention and Control Using Drama.Drama pulls masses , educates and Entertains


Uganda has one of the highest rates of Malaria in the world and accounts for 4% of global malaria cases. Statistics by WHO reveal that Uganda experienced 13 million cases of malaria in 2021 which led to 19,663 deaths.

Malaria has been shown to have a negative impact on health, education and even the economy. Malaria’s impact on education was confirmed by a study by the Ministry of Health which revealed malaria-related absenteeism can account for up to 50% of all school absenteeism. Malaria was calculated to cost the Ugandan economy over $1.3 billion in 2020.

Like many other diseases, malaria does not impact everyone equally. Malaria has been shown to disproportionately impact vulnerable groups of people such as pregnant women and children under 5.

Malaria Awareness Campaign in schools of Bunyangabu and Kabarole districts


There are between 1.2 and 1.4 million people living with HIV in Uganda, with the most recent reporting cycle showing 52,000 new cases and 17,000 deaths.

Statistics reveal a trend of women in Uganda contracting HIV at almost twice the rate of men, with 30,000 of new cases being women, while men accounted for 16,000 of new cases. This rate of infection is confirmed by the overall HIV statistics in Uganda which show that women make up an estimated 860,000 of total HIV cases, while men make up 500,000 of overall HIV cases.

Despite various challenges such as stigma, Uganda is making steady progress in reducing HIV numbers in the country, with over 1.2 million people receiving ARVs in 2021. Additionally, Uganda is close to achieving UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 goals, with recent statistics revealing that Uganda achieved 89-92-95 in 2021.

Child Survival

The issue of child survival is also worthy of discussion.

According to WHO, Uganda has improved child survival rates between 2015 and 2021, but the country is still not meeting SDG targets. Recent statistics show that although neonatal death rates fell from 22 deaths per 1000 births to 19 deaths per 1000 births, this remains above the SDG target of 12 deaths per 1000 births.

Under 5 mortality rates have fallen from 56 to 42 deaths per 1000 live births between 2015 and 2021, although this remains above the SDG target of 25 deaths per 1000 births.


PLANE commends the Government of Uganda and its partners for the work that they have done to realize the right to health. We do, however, call on the Government and its partners to continue with their efforts and, where possible, increase their efforts so as to ensure the realization of the right to health for a greater number of people. We at PLANE will continue to do our part in this fight by providing members of the community with food in order to promote physical and mental development, in addition to running awareness campaigns on various health issues in Uganda.

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