The Uganda EMS Fund And The State of Emergency Medical Services in Uganda

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • August 4, 2021

The state of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Uganda is dire and many people have lost their lives or their loved ones because of the absence of stable or even sustainable Emergency Medical Services in the country.

Truth be told, there is limited information on the state of emergency medical services (EMS) in Uganda. The available evidence is from studies that focused on either assessing EMS capacity and gaps at the national level especially in Kampala or identifying risk factors for specific emergency medical conditions (e.g., injuries).

For starters, an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system is defined as one that organizes all aspects of care provided to patients in the pre-hospital or out-of-hospital environment. EMS is critical to the improvement of outcomes in patients with obstetric and medical emergencies and severe injuries, and other serious time sensitive illnesses.

Well as incidents of accidents, heart attacks, stroke and others that require emergency medical response remain among the top 10 causes of death in Uganda. About 84% of Ugandans have access to a public and/or private health facility through the cascaded healthy service delivery system.

The EMS system in Uganda is still in its infancy stages and the newly developed national EMS policy provides the framework for developing a strategic plan for a comprehensive national EMS system. Hence, deaths can be preventable once Uganda establishes a stronger Emergency Medical Services System to reduce the response time to address such incidences.

It’s in that same tone, that the Uganda EMS Fund was formed to fundraise over $3.3M so as to build sustainable and functional Emergency Medical Services in Uganda – this will also include a call and dispatch centre. The Uganda EMS Fund is being run by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) together with the Ministry of Health with support from Ortus Africa Capital.

Currently, Naguru China Hospital has a model EMS Centre although it is not yet operational.

The fund has so far received seed funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), with additional investment being sought. Over 14 referral hospitals across the country have been mapped to have EMS and these are;

  • Arua Regional Referral Hospital
  • China-Uganda Friendship Hospital Naguru
  • Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital
  • Gulu Regional Referral Hospital
  • Hoima Regional Referral Hospital
  • Jinja Regional Referral Hospital
  • Kabale Regional Referral Hospital
  • Lira Regional Referral Hospital
  • Masaka Regional Referral Hospital
  • Mbale Regional Referral Hospital
  • Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital
  • Moroto Regional Referral Hospital
  • Mubende Regional Referral Hospital
  • Soroti National Referral Hospital

However, not much can be done without your support. Donate today and let’s give a chance to better Emergency Medical Services. Every coin counts – donate via