WASHINGTON, May 25, 2010 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$130 million International Development Association (IDA) credit* to strengthen Uganda’s public health systems through improved human resources; provision of physical infrastructure; and greater accountability for service delivery.
The Uganda Health Systems Strengthening Project (UHSSP) will support the Government to renovate hospitals, improve management of health workers, strengthen leadership in the sector and provide reproductive healthcare, including family planning services.
“This project addresses some of the major bottlenecks impacting the provision of efficient health services to the Ugandan people. We hope that through this project the Bank will contribute toward improving service delivery at the frontline, and support the Government in making providers accountable for services delivered to clients,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda.
Uganda has registered improvements in health outcomes, though at a much slower pace than other countries in the region. The maternal mortality rate is estimated at 435 deaths per 100,000 live births, while the infant mortality rate is estimated at 76 deaths per 1,000 live births; while stunting in children under five is estimated at 32 percent. Without significant investments, Uganda is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets related to reducing child mortality and improving maternal mortality.
“Maternal and child mortality remain high in Uganda, yet many of the causes are avoidable. The project will therefore also help to strengthen and improve Uganda’s delivery of maternal and child health services,” said Dr. Peter Okwero, the Project’s Task Team Leader.
The World Bank has provided close to US$6.5 billion in loans and grants to Uganda since 1963, and has already committed US$1.2 billion to finance various programs and projects between 2009 and 2011. The Bank’s current portfolio in Uganda consists of 17 projects with a commitment of US$1.43 billion.
*The credit is provided on standard IDA terms, with a commitment fee of 0.5 percent, a service charge of 0.75 percent over a 40 year period of maturity which includes a 10-year grace period.