We have been searching for community-based solutions that are improving maternal and child health, developed by Ugandans, for Ugandans! In 2017, we held an open call for people to submit their solutions. We selected the Top 5 solutions to recognise, support and research.
Every day, 300 children and 20 mothers die in Uganda. Although many well established medical treatments exist to prevent this, they are not accessible to those who need it most.
We heard from many people (community organisations, health workers, business owners, students, government workers) who have implemented solutions that are making health care for mothers and children more inclusive, effective and affordable.
Solutions that address the leading conditions killing women, babies and older children e.g. complications during child birth or infections
Solutions that improve health and wellbeing of mothers and babies
Solutions that empower women to have thriving families
All submitted solutions were reviewed by an independent panel of experts who selected solutions based on how innovative, inclusive, effective, affordable, appropriate, sustainable and scalable they are. Meet the Review Panel below!
Be recognised by national and global health policy makers
Have a case study published on their solution
Be featured in a WHO/TDR film on social innovation in Uganda
Meet other social innovators in Uganda and become part of the Makerere-Social Innovation in Health Hub
Equal opportunities for children with disabilities
This pioneer organization, in western Uganda, provides an innovative and holistic approach to the care and management of Children with Disabilities (CWDs), offering unique community-based therapy and rehabilitation programmes to individual homes, orphanages, schools and local health centres across the district. KCDC’s team of physical, occupational and speech therapists, nurse, orthopedic officer and special education teacher regularly work in 5 local primary schools and 11 local health centres, providing more than 350 free therapy sessions per month. They also do home visits for families who cannot travel to the clinic.
The ‘MamaToto Approach’, is a district-led community health worker (CHW) programming and facility-based maternal and child health strengthening approach, that was developed from experiences and lessons learned by HCU in Southern Uganda. MamaToto is a seven-step process; SCAN, ORIENT, PLAN, EQUIP, TRAIN, ACT and REFLECT (SOPETAR), which empowers leaders to develop, implement, and monitor MNCH priority areas. It includes provision of MNCH short courses in clinical skills, In-charges and Health Unit Management Committee workshops, training in health management information systems and training of VHTs and their leaders. Trainings, mentorship and support supervision encourage strong networks of volunteer CHWs to conduct home visits, assess and refer patients, provide health education, and mobilize communities to participate in health activities.
Diagnostic ultra sound imaging for rural communities:
This innovation avails diagnostic imaging at peripheral health centres in Uganda, increases access, and allows identification of high risk pregnancy features (such as abnormal placental location, fetal mal position and multiple gestation) which are associated with high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Access to breast lump imaging at lower level facilities has also improved through this initiative.
Located in the Bwindi impenetrable forest in southern Uganda, the Mother’s Waiting Hostel at Bwindi Community Hospital is a simple and cost-effective solution addressing the problem of unsafe delivery that women in the remote geographical area commonly experience. High-risk mothers living in hard-to-reach areas, are identified through the hospital’s community nurse team, which regularly visits all villages in its catchment area, and through antenatal clinics. These women are then encouraged to come and stay in the hostel for up to a month before delivery, depending on the severity of their risk. The hospital serves a population of approximately 70,000 with an additional 50,000 in the larger district area. The hostel at any one time will house 25-35 mothers who pay a minimal fee.
The Karamoja region in northern Uganda is a semi-arid area where the population are pastoralists. It is the most deprived and underserved area in the country. Access to health facilities is very poor and maternal and child mortality is high.
The mothers’ waiting home provides shelter to expectant mothers close to a hospital; 24 hour access to a midwife; nutritional education; economic empowerment and skills development; and access to financial saving and credit facilities.
DR. CHRISTINE NALWADDA KAYEMBA
Dr. Christine Nalwadda Kayemba is a PhD graduate in Public Health of Makerere University and Karolinska Institute. She is a Lecturer at the Department of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, involved in research, teaching and supervision of graduate students. Her research areas of interest include maternal and newborn health, and health systems. She has participated in various research projects.
She is a team member of the Maternal and Newborn Canter of Excellence and social Innovations Hub- Uganda for maternal and child health based at the School of Public Health. She is also a member of the National Newborn Steering Committee, coordinated by the Child Health Division, Ministry of Health, and Uganda. She is skilled in scientific writing with publications in maternal-newborn and health systems research among other public health areas.
Dr David Okumu holds MBChB, MPH, PGDHRM degrees. He is a Health Systems Management Fellow at the Makerere University School of Public Health and a District Health Officer, Tororo district, Uganda.
EDDIE SEFULUYA MUKOOYO
Dr Eddie Mukooyo, Assistant Commissioner Health Services, Division of Health Information, Ministry of Health, Uganda present 32-years of leadership and management experience for Health Service delivery, Health Management Information Systems (HMIS), Information Technology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at both national and district level. A champion for establishing HMIS in Uganda and transforming it to digital/electronic system, training and mentoring national and district staff in the District Health Information Software (DHIS2) and the Medicines tracking using mobile application (mTRAC).
He is the pioneer in linking HMIS data to score cards for performance monitoring and use of bottleneck analysis for evidence based planning and management of the health services which have been adopted for tracking performance and promoting mutual accountability and effective governance.
He has published widely on the reliability and validity of the Performance of Routine Information System Management framework and tools; presented over 30 papers in international conferences and served as board member on the Advisory Boards of Routine Health Information System Network (RHINO) Washington, DC, USA and was Chair of the Uganda Health Worker Force Advisory Board [2005 – 2008]; member of the Steering Committee of the International Development Evaluation Association, Washington, DC, USA which is affiliated to the World Bank and Measure and Evaluation John Snow Inc. Washington, DC, USA. Dr. Mukooyo was the Personal Assistant to the First Chairperson of the Global Fund; Hon. Dr. Crispus Walter Kiyonga. He is currently a board member of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. He has worked closely with bilateral and multilateral donors such USAID, DFID, JICA, WHO, UNICEF, World Vision, Global Fund and the World Bank
Dr Mukoyo holds a Master of .Science Degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio – USA – 1994; M.B., Ch. B. Degree from Makerere University Medical School, Kampala, Uganda – 1983 and has several post graduate qualifications including Postgraduate Diploma in African Leadership in ICT and the Knowledge Society – Dublin City University, Ireland – 2015
FLAVIA MPANGA KAGGWA
Dr Flavia Mpanga Kaggwa is a results’ oriented, dedicated, self –motivated and dependable professional with a solid public health background and experience in public health and development assistance. She has significant experience in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating of Primary Health Care (PHC) programmes. Dr Mpanga holds a Master’s degree in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London and a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery from Makerere University, Kampala.
Holds a certificate in Dynamic Leadership from the Harvard Business School. Is a graduate of the prestigious UNICEF Leadership Development Initiative and most recently completed the programme on Leadership, Women and the UN.
Dr Mpanga has over 16 years of experience in implementing public health programmes. At UNICEF, Dr Mpanga has the primary responsibility of providing technical, financial and administrative oversight of key policies strategies, to leverage resources for children and women programmes. This includes support for the implementation of the national Health Policy and Health Sector Development Plan by engaging in key working groups in the Ministry of Health i.e. monthly Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC), monthly The Health Development Partners group (HDP) the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, monthly Maternal Child Health (MCH), Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) and other technical working groups.
She currently manages the child health team at UNICEF directly supervising six professional staff and takes the lead in engaging with key development partners, including the World Bank, Global Fund, DFID, PMI, USAID, Belgium, JICA, KOICA, SIDA, CDC and the UN, in the planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of health programmes in Uganda at both central and district levels’.
JOHN MARK BWANIKA
Dr John Mark Bwanika is a Medical doctor who is passionate about healthcare innovation. As a founding partner of The Medical Concierge Group Limited, he has first-hand experience of social innovation in health. He is also the Clinical Trial Coordinator at the Infectious Diseases Institute.
Dr Peter Kaddu is a medical doctor and public health specialist with over 15 years’ experience working with Health Systems and Public Health Programming in governmental and non-governmental settings. An experienced team leader, Peter has planned, implemented and managed public health, HIV/AIDS, RMNCH programs in the public domain as well as donor funded programs. Peter has successfully written grant proposals and implemented numerous donor funded projects across various districts at community and facility level.
He has experience in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programming using the health systems strengthening approach. Peter also has expertise in community health programming and experience in the implementation of iCCM and approaches to quality improvement on health care systems.
He earned his M.B. Ch.B degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and a Master of Public Health Degree from the Royal Tropical Institute/Vrije University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is currently the Director of Health for Living Goods, Uganda.
Robinah Kaitiritimba is the Executive Director of UNHCO. She has vast experience in the right to health and the Rights Based Approach (RBA) in Uganda and has worked in the health sector for over 15 years. She is a WHO patient safety champion, a member of institutional review boards of Makerere University School of Public Health and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
She represents civil society at the highest policy and decision-making organ in the health sector – Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC). She is a member of various boards of organisations focused on the right to health. Robinah is skilled in Right to Health policy advocacy, Community Participation and Social Accountability with trainings supported by WHO and World Bank. She is a trainer under the global social accountability network – Communities of Practitioners in Social Accountability for Health (COPASAH). She has led studies funded by the World Bank and European Union. She Holds a Masters degree in Public Administration and Management and Bachelors in Social Sciences with a series of international trainings.
Dr Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka is a Senior Lecturer of Paediatrics and Child Health at the School of Medicine, Makerere University, College of Heath Sciences. She is also a Consultant Paediatrician and Adolescent Health Specialist at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. She is a Ugandan medical doctor who completed her MBChB at Makerere University in 1995; and completed her Masters of Paediatrics and Child Health at Makerere University in July 2002.
She was a Gilead Fellow at the Infectious Diseases Institute from 2003-2011 where she undertook a Fellowship in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and did research on HIV-infected adolescents. She is a PhD Candidate (2014-2017) at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Dr Kitaka has co-directed the adolescent programs at the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Clinic(PIDC) in Mulago, which is led by the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation, Uganda since August 2003. The PIDC is a Baylor-Uganda supported clinical centre of excellence which has one of the largest Paediatric and Adolescent HIV programs in Eastern and Southern Africa with over 2200 HIV-infected adolescents in care. Dr Kitaka has taught Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine to both undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Department of Paediatrics since October 2002. She has participated and supervised research projects and has over 25 publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr Kitaka continues to participate in an on-going consultation with the WHO and UNICEF on the global scale-up of adolescent care among HIV positive patients and recently has engaged with WHO as an expert addressing the health needs of adolescents in Africa.
Dr Kitaka is a past president of the Uganda Paediatrics Association (2009-2011); and the Founding President of the Society of Adolescent Health of Uganda (2012-2017); she sits on various Ministry of Health Committees and various Boards, including the Adolescent Technical Working Group. She is a member of the Uganda National Advisory Committee for Vaccines and Immmunization; and a former member of the GAVI Civil Society Steering Committee (2009-2013). She is an Affiliate member of the Section on International Child Health (SOICH) of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and a fully registered International member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She is a Board Member of the Straight Talk Foundation since 2016.
Recently, Dr Kitaka underwent training(August 2016) as a regional trainer for East, Central and Southern Africa Region on Adolescent Health for Service providers. The training was supported by WHO Headquarters, EuTeach and the WHO Afro EAS Regional Office, participants included Country Technical advisors from the WHO office as well as master trainers from different training institutions in the region who were co-opted by the various universities. Dr Kitaka has supervised over 30 post graduate students, and sits on 2 PhD advisory committees. In the spring of 2017, Dr Kitaka was invited as a plenary speaker in March 2017 at the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), in the United States to talk about the ‘Scale up of Adolescent Health in a Resource Limited Country’, this as a result of her work with the Society of Adolescent Health in Uganda.