Government asked to prioritise refugee health coverage

Some of the refugees during celebrations to mark the first U.N. Health Coverage day in Kisenyi.

KAMPALA- Government has been urged to prioritise the health needs of over one million refugees in Uganda to achieve the United Nations health coverage goal for all by 2030.

According to Mr Frank Ategeka, the executive director of Rural Aid Foundation, refugees are vulnerable because they don't have money to access health services yet they fall sick just like any other people.

"Imagine someone (refugee) has no job and funds and yet falling sick is all of us. So, how do you expect such refugees to pay the huge medical bills? Some in most cases borrow money here and there to foot the medical bills and this will makes them extremely poor," Mr Ategeka said on Friday in Kisenyi, Kampala during celebrations to mark the first U.N. Health Coverage day.

 Kisenyi, a shanty residential area in Kampala, is home to most refugees in the city.

The United Nations set December 12 as the international day on universal health coverage.

Mr Ategeka and other activists called upon relevant stakeholders to include refugees in the 2030 health coverage scheme.

The head of legal aid at Inter-Aid, Ms Edna Kasozi, said every person. including refugees, is entitled to affordable health Services.

Uganda hosts over one million refugees from unstable countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, South Sudan among other states.

Universal health coverage is the global drive to build stronger health systems for universal health coverage.

The universal health coverage is based on the principle that all individuals and communities should have access to quality essential health services without suffering financial hardship.


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