Research Agenda for Universal Health Coverage generated National Interest in Uganda

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The Supporting Policy Engagement for Evidence-based Decisions (SPEED) for Universal Health Coverage initiative, August 13th organized a validation meeting for the Universal Health Coverage Research Agenda. The objective of the meeting was to have stakeholders’ views on what should be the research to inform Universal Health Coverage agenda. Key questions the stakeholders were expected to ask included ‘why the need for a research agenda’ and ‘why there is need for policy on research for universal health coverage’.

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The meeting was held at Silver Springs Hotel in Bugolobi.

To set the scene, the SPEED Team Lead, Associate Prof. Freddie Ssengooba delivered a comprehensive overview of Universal Health Coverage generally and in Uganda.

According to the final scores, Inadequate numbers received the highest number of votes under Human Resources for Health, under Infrastructure Private-Public-Partnerships occupied the first slot, population control and media involvements took top slots under Social Determinants; under Information Systems it was poor use of Information; under Health Financing came insurance and prepayment plans and inadequate funding for health research; priorities under Community Healthh were community involvement in governance and accountability. Overall, Health workforce got 30 votes, Governance and Community Health tied at 29 votes and Health Finance and Service Delivery tied at 28 votes.

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The well-attended meeting provided an idea of the interest stakeholder have in Universal Health Coverage, particularly where resources for research need to be deployed. Stakeholders came from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, other government ministries, government authorities and parastatals, civil society organisations and academia.

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In his closing remarks, Professor Ssengooba promised that the team at SPEED would quickly consolidate the outcomes of the two agenda-setting meetings and share the final report. He said efforts will be made to ensure that the results are integrated into the Ministry of Health strategy and plan for Universal Health Coverage. He thanked the stakeholders for the rich contribution to the process and promised to solicit for additional input.

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