As one of the ways of ensuring that all partners institutions have a clear understanding of what the SPEED initiative is really about; its ideals, objectives and contribution to policy in Uganda, the SPEED Secretariate is conducting seminars at all Uganda partner organisations. At EPRC the seminar was held on 17th November 2015. In his presentation, Associate Professor Freddie Ssengooba, who is also the SPEED Team lead, said that the understanding of SPEED is that Uganda produces a lot of research evidence and EPRC is among the key producers of this evidence. He said therefore that the value of having the different partners including EPRC is to build the capacity of faculty at Makerere University School of Public Health, to contextualize and to package evidence in byte-sized packages and pieces. “How can we learn to do policy analysis and policy influence?” he rhetorically asked.
He also noted that to improve health, efforts need to go beyond the health sector and health actors, a perspective the SPEED partnership brings on board.
He raised several issues that need to be thought through and addressed before actual implementation of universal health coverage:
- How can we increase services we offer to the population and how can we improve quality?
- Which group do we cover first and which ones come later?
- We need to reflect on who we need to cover
- We need to be cognizant of the capacity of the system to handle the demands of UHC
Dr. Ssengooba also briefed the EPRC partners on the work that is already on-going at SPEED and invited them to take up the available opportunities, like financial support for short studies.
The plenary session discussion included question on who is going to carry the burden of paying for UHC; how evidence generation is infused into the work of SPEED; the challenge that UHC may be put in place and some Ugandans choose not to take up the services and the role VHTs will play in the implementation of UHC.