The National Policy on Public Private Partnerships for Health (September 2010) recommends the promotion and development of public-private partnerships as an effective strategy towards achievement of economic growth, health and wellness. By establishing a multisector health advisory committee, the ministry recognizes the strength of partnerships for effective health service delivery. The government acknowledged the role of public not for profit (PNFP) institutions in the delivery of laboratory services and included them in the credit line for laboratory supplies, personnel training and quality assurance programs.
Health services in Uganda have been decentralized. The Ministry of Local Government is responsible for management of health services within respective districts. Development partners provide technical assistance and fund priority areas through grants, cooperative agreements, donations and/or contracts to institutions, local governments, central government and/or implementing partners. Faith based organizations and PNFPs institutions often complement government through delivery of quality services in hard-to-reach areas. Private for profit institutions often offer quality health services and their compliance to national programs such as immunization, HIV/AIDS interventions and national health data management systems is critical for the success of such programs. Attempts have been made to partner with private for profit facilities which provide a big percentage of laboratory services to the community. These attempts have not been very successful resulting in uncoordinated centralized monitoring in areas such as data sharing and utilization.
The GOU subscribes to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in a bid to strengthen partnerships towards prevention and control of diseases, outbreak investigations and detection of environmental threats to human and animals. MOH has since embraced the “One Health” approach to strengthen country efforts against public health threats in the areas of zoonoses, food safety and AMR. A coordination desk has been established at Emergence Operation Center (EOC) of MOH to coordinate partners under the “One Health” approach.
The current laboratory policy will ensure streamlining and consolidating partnerships towards effective delivery of quality laboratory services. This policy underscores the significance of partnerships framework through a dedicated centralized coordination mechanism.