Feedback – a pillar for strengthening health systems in Uganda

Peter Kintu, Axios International
Miriam Nanyunja, World Health Organization
Nestor Ndayimirije, World Health Organization
Ruth Magola, Ministry of Health, Uganda
Lukwago Luswa, Ministry of Health, Uganda

Lack of information often puts the rural poor in a bad situation as they would not know their rights to health and to what extent they can participate in maintaining their health. Feedback has been instilled in all levels of the decentralised health system in Uganda through communicating morbidity and mortality trends, and health management information at all levels thereby triggering responses on performance of the health system. The apparatus of this feedback mechanism include provision of monthly summaries of key health sector indicators, financial information and drug releases to communities, health workers and political leaders in all districts. Results show that since inception of the rigorous feedback mechanism in 2001, reporting of health information has improved from 21% to over 80% in 2004, community surveillance systems have been strengthened to detect and respond to epidemics promptly, and politicians have actively been involved in mobilising communities on health matters.

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Presented in Session 159: Making health systems work for the poor: the challenges of decentralization in low-income countries