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A review of COVID-19 and the health equality dilemma in Uganda

Uganda’s development response over the years, where we have seen impressively high economic growth rates that have not translated into a better life for the poorest and most vulnerable such as women, has spilled into its COVID-19 response. This paper discusses the ways in which approaches to development- with focus on health sector- that do not include the poorest and most vulnerable will combine with old patriarchy and a global pandemic to leave women worse off. It extracts lessonsfrom Uganda’s ongoing COVID-19 response and makes recommendations on short term measures to make the response more inclusive and cognizant of existing inequalities, and work towards resolving rather than compounding them. It also suggests long term measures that post-pandemic, can be used to address health inequalities.

COVID-19 in Uganda

Toward a National Strategy on Complex Public Health Emergencies

This paper analyses the relationship between Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Uganda, on one hand, and the development and operationalization of a National Strategy on Complex Public Health Emergencies. Attention centres on:(i) State preparedness following outbreak and global transmission of Covid-19;(ii) State Responses tosubsequent importation to, and transmission of the disease within, Uganda; (iii) State-Society Relations occasioned by intra-country morbidity and transmissions; and (iv) the implications of (i)-(iii) for Uganda’s national strategy for CPHEs.The paper underscores the State’s central role in developing and operationalising a CPHE Strategy. The Strategy, though a multi-stakeholder effort, ought to prioritise preparedness, response, and post-CPHE socioeconomic recovery in order to cushion society against immediate and long-term impacts of CPHEs. Severally,Covid-19 has revealed the need to alter Uganda’s approach to public health governance. The conclusion sums up main lessons and makes recommendations for developing a National CPHE Strategy.

Citizens Speak!

Public Service Needs during Lockdown in Uganda

As a global pandemic of COVID19 is threatening our lives and economies, our relationship towards government is starting to change. With over 2.5 million confirmed infections worldwide, Uganda has so far been spared with only 61 confirmed cases and no deaths. On 31st March, a 14-day lockdown was imposed on the country, which was extended for another 21 days on the 14th of April. The effects of this lockdown on the virus, as well as economic and social life, are yet to be seen. What is certain is that many Ugandans, sitting at home in self-isolation, are talking about their needs during the pandemic and openly sharing their anxieties about the future through WhatsApp groups and social media platforms.

Assessing the Relationship between Gender-based Violence and the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

Whereas there is an abundance of literature linking gender based violence (GBV) in the aftermaths of natural related disasters, the linkage with health related emergency pandemic is scanty. However, some studies have analyzed GBV and Ebola and Zika virus epidemic in Liberia in 2014-16 1 and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2018, GBV and HIV 2,3 and gender/GBV and Covid-19. With the prevailing coronavirus (covid-19) global pandemic, which has driven countries to declare lockdowns, cases of GBVhave also spiraled. The increasing cases of GBV amidst the coronavirus pandemic highlight the importance of the relationship between GBV and health related emergingepidemics or pandemic situations. Particular questions GBV and Covid-19 such as: Have cases of GBV or threats of violenceincreased since Covid-19 Lockdown in Uganda? Why and how do GBV occur in health related emergency situations? What are the implications for policy and research? These and other questions are worthy reflecting on and responding to.

What Could the COVID-19 Pandemic Mean for the 2021 Elections in Uganda?

COVID-19 has caused global trauma and hindered many operations to achieve economic, social and political plans by the government and many of its partners. According to the Electoral Commission (EC) 2020/21 strategic plan, Uganda’s General Election has been scheduled for February 2021. However, due to the outbreak of the novel COVID-19, it is now a topic for debate. Stakeholders and the general populace are having mixed reactions. Many are asking the following questions: What is the implication of COVID-19 on the already ongoing electoral processes? Will the 2021 general elections still be a national priority in the crippled post COVID-19 economy? Has the COVID-19 pandemic increased the popularity of H.E the President of Uganda in line with his government’s response and management of the pandemic? How can the opposition political establishment remain relevant during the and after COVID-19? To what extent has the COVID-19 global pandemic affected the electoral financing of opposition parties in the country? This manuscript attempts to offer some insights into these question.

Implications of COVID-19 for right of food in Uganda

“We are going to die of hunger before this virus even kills us”. This was the grim prediction of a one Eunice Nabifo, a mother of three in Kampala.1 Her fear is not unfounded. You will notice that many Ugandans, often called the urban poor, live a hand to mouth existence. Their ability to feed themselves as well as their dependents is hinged on being able to work for a day’s wage. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Uganda, the government’s stringent lockdown measures to limit the spread of the infection have exacerbated the precarious circumstances of such vulnerable people. This article therefore seeks to examine access to food for people such as Nabifo from a human rights perspective, tracing the historical developments that predisposed them to vulnerability and how COVID-19 has added salt to the wound to give the entire problem several new dimensions.

COVID-19 in Uganda

The Fates and Futures of Maternal Health

The importation and transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), in Uganda, has led to challenges related to maternal health services (MHSs). First, restrictions occasioned by COVID-19 were hurried. Some were initially inattentive to the special needs of women whose access to MHSs is critical to their health and that of their babies. Second, the strain put on the country’s weak health services infrastructure and systems implies limited resources left to attend to pregnant women and others in need of reproductive health services like contraception and family planning. Third, COVID-19 has forced government to enforce social measures to slow down or stop its spread, by declaring curfews and lock-downs upon people and transport systems, rendering it impossible to access MHSs in formal institutions. This has been done without availing awareness and advice on alternatives to formal services. While at the time of writing Uganda has not registered large numbers of infections – only 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases - and zero deaths - these after-effects have serious implications for thinking about the possible balance between COVID-19 response efforts and the need for maternal health services in Uganda.

Potential Fiscal Measures by the Bank of Uganda

During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, the novel Coronavirus otherwise scientifically known as COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on economies on a global scale, but nowhere is this more evident than in the already challenged African economies such as Uganda. In a press release dated April 9th 2020, The World Bank predicts and the first economic recession in over 25 years to hit sub-Saharan economies on account of this global pandemic. Uganda’s central bank, Bank of Uganda, the establishment mandated to maintain economic stability through its control over the monetary policy, commercial banks and other banking and non-banking institutions in the financial sector is uniquely positioned to rapidly and creatively respond in such a way that the lowest income earner is not left to starve.

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Newsletter 01/2020

Find out about the KAS activities and news. January - March 2020

COVID-19 and its Impact on Uganda's Creative Industry

With the new measures in place, hundreds of artists and arts organizations in Uganda are facing an unprecedented loss of livelihood and incomes due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain it.

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Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

Event Reports

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.


A Women’s Development Magazine

ARISE magazine features varying issues around women and development in Uganda. Whether women wearing uniform, working as farmers, or holding political offices: We review the trends and challenges women face in Uganda. The magazine has been published in cooperation with Action for Development since 1990.

Reality Check

The series analyses developmental challenges in the political, social and economic sphere in Uganda. The editions examine hot topics of the daily political agenda and undertake a rigorous reality check. Reality Check is published in cooperation with Centre for Development Alternatives.

Economic Policy Paper Series

We examine economic issues in Uganda through a policy lens: Which way for Uganda's economic development? Which obstacles does the country face? And how can political players set the course for economic growth? This series crafts policy papers to inform and inspire debates around economic progress in Uganda. The Economic Policy Paper Series is published in cooperation with Centre for Development Alternatives. 

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