Uganda At a Glance

Joe  Chouinard meets some local children during a visit to Uganda, 2003.
Joe Chouinard meets some local children during a visit to Uganda, 2003.

Uganda, an East-African country whose borders encompass a range of ethnic groups, is one of Africa’s comparative successes. Despite the nearly decade-long dictatorship of Idi Amin during the 1970s and the years of war and human rights abuses that followed, Uganda has since made great strides towards peace and development.

FIGO SMNH Mentor Ann Lovold, RM with friend outside Mulago Hospital, Uganda, 2006.
FIGO SMNH Mentor Ann Lovold, RM with friend outside Mulago Hospital, Uganda, 2006.

One of the country’s greatest successes has been the implementation of an aggressive HIV/AIDS reduction strategy. From a prevalence rate of more than 30% during the 1990s, a combination of sex education, promotion of condom use, and innovative testing and treatment strategies have helped lower the prevalence rate into the single digits.

FIGO SM/NH Mentor  – Jean Chamberlain, MD and Colleagues  announce exciting developments, 2000.
FIGO SM/NH Mentor – Jean Chamberlain, MD and Colleagues announce exciting developments, 2000.

The IWHP has been involved in Uganda since 1998 with the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda (AOGU), one of the professional associations that has been working with the Partnership Program since its inception. During this time, the IWHP has supported the AOGU’s organizational development efforts. As a result, AOGU has been recognized as one of Uganda’s main stakeholders in maternal and newborn health. AOGU has also developed the capacity to deliver and promote the AIP in Uganda as well as the surrounding region.

Healthy twin newborns at the Mulago hospital, Uganda.
Healthy twin newborns at the Mulago hospital, Uganda.

The IWHP has also supported AOGU through two FIGO Saving Mothers and Newborns (SMNH) initiatives. The first (The Kiboga Safe Motherhood Project, conducted from 1999 to 2004), aimed to upgrade the skills of rural health centres, improving the quality of the essential obstetric care they provide.

Joe Chouinard and the ALARM International Uganda team  sharing their knowledge. Uganda 2000.
Joe Chouinard and the ALARM International Uganda team sharing their knowledge. Uganda 2000.

Interventions at the health centres, at the referral level, and within the community took place in an effort to address the main delays to accessing care. The SOGC’s main contribution was the participation of Canadian ob/gyns who volunteered at the Kiboga District Hospital for periods of three months at a time.

Participants practice their  skills with the ALARM International  Program. Uganda,  2006.
Participants practice their skills with the ALARM International Program. Uganda, 2006.

The most recent initiative, again a FIGO SMNH project, began in 2007 and aims to develop the provision of essential obstetric care and essential newborn care, emphasizing the management of preventable causes of maternal mortality (such as post-partum hemorrhage). The IWHP’s contribution to this four-year initiative consists mainly of facilitating the contributions of two SOGC mentors: Jean Chamberlain, MD, Ann Lovold, RM.