Uganda has been among the rare HIV success stories. Infection rates of 30 per cent of the population in the 1980s fell to 6.4 percent by the end of 2008. However, there has been a spike in recent years compared to the mid-1990s. Meanwhile, the practice of abstinence was found to have decreased.
The prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) is low: according to a 2013 UNICEF report, only 1 percent of women in Uganda have undergone FGM, with the practice being illegal in the country.
Life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 53.45 years in 2012. The infant mortality rate was approximately 61 deaths per 1,000 children in 2012. There were eight physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s.The 2006 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) indicated that roughly 6,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications. However, recent pilot studies by Future Health Systems have shown that this rate could be significantly reduced by implementing a voucher scheme for health services and transport to clinics.
Uganda’s elimination of user fees at state health facilities in 2001 has resulted in an 80 percent increase in visits, with over half of this increase coming from the poorest 20 percent of the population. This policy has been cited as a key factor in helping Uganda achieve its Millennium Development Goals and as an example of the importance of equity in achieving those goals.
Despite this policy, many users are denied care if they do not provide their own medical equipment, as happened in the highly publicized case of Jennifer Anguko. Poor communication within hospitals, low satisfaction with health services and distance to health service providers undermine the provision of quality health care to people living in Uganda, and particularly for those in poor and elderly-headed households.
The provision of subsidies for poor and rural populations along with the extension of public private partnerships, have been identified as important provisions to enable vulnerable populations to access health services.
In July 2012, there was an Ebola outbreak in the Kibale District of the country. On 4 October 2012, the Ministry of Health officially declared the end of the outbreak after at least 16 people had died.
The Health Ministry announced on 16 August 2013 that three people had died in northern Uganda from a suspected outbreak of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever.