The Republic of Uganda has a history of war and rebellious conflicts which negatively affects the health of its inhabitants. Before the current president, Yoweri Museveni came to power; Uganda was constantly under siege by different rebel occupants.
President Mutesa (1966) was exiled by Col. Idi Amin and Prime Minister Obote; Amin was later exiled by Obote, who was then exiled and replaced by occupant army leader General Tito Okello. Once the National Resistance Army (NRA) rose to the command of Yoweri Museveni, Okello was forced from authority. During this time of multiple occupants, Uganda was under economic stress as well as violence. Hundreds-of-thousands of Ugandans were killed during the decades of wars.
Once Museveni was declared president in 1986, things began to change for the better. He has remained the country’s president since his initial declaration. The primary reason for his long running presidency is the positive economic influence he has had on Uganda.
The political turmoil has never ended in Uganda, even with Museveni positive results. Many rebel troops stationed on the boarders of Uganda have caused turmoil to the country. The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), for example, is an extremist group in Sudan which has caused the deaths of thousands of Ugandans.
There have been approximately ten thousand children abducted from their homes in Uganda. Male children are forced to fight for the beliefs of the LRAs “prophet” Joseph Kony and the female children are forced into sex slavery. This has gone on for eighteen years and has caused the displacement of 1.5 million people in Uganda (Infoplease, 2006).
There has been controversy surrounding the legitimacy of Museveni’s elections. The president has won every election since 1986, which were held in 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Several conflicts have risen over whether Museveni’s wins were legitimate or if they were fixed. He was also opposed to creating a multiparty democratic republic in favor of his individual rule; although he did eventually give into political pressure and allowed the multiparty democratic republic to be reinstated after nineteen years of absence (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2005).
The healthcare system in Uganda has suffered severely due to the ongoing conflicts over the past several decades. The United States began assisting Uganda in its efforts to improve the healthcare system in 1979, when it reopened its embassy in Uganda’s capital Kampala (Infoplease, 2006).
The following essay will discuss Uganda’s current physical state and the possibilities for improving the healthcare system of Uganda.
Biophysical and Sociocultural
In 2006, the United States Department of State estimated Uganda’s population to be approximately 28,195,754. Uganda is 91,133 square miles; to put this size in perspective, it is approximately twice the size of Pennsylvania (See Figure 1). Located in East Africa, Uganda is bordered by the Congo (West), the Sudan (north), Kenya (East) and Tanzania and Rwanda (south).
Uganda lies across the equator and can be divided by three areas; swampy lowlands, wooded hills in a fertile plateau and the desert region (Information Please Almanac, 2006). Eighteen percent of Uganda is water and seven percent is highland which reaches over five thousand feet high (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2005).