Country Overview

  • Domestic advocacy network established and institutionalized
  • Private fund and public fund for immunization under development
  • Draft legislation under development

Ugandan National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI)
The UNEPI is in the Directorate of Clinical and Community Services, Department of National Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health (MOH).

Government Spending on Immunization
Over the period 2006-2013, Uganda’s Gross National Income increased from US$330 to US$510 per capita, increasing 55 percent in eight years. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form (JRF), the Ugandan government spent $3 on routine immunization per surviving infant in 2006. In 2013, government contributions remained at $3 per surviving infant. On the other hand, the government share of total routine immunization expenditures rose from 13 percent to 24 percent from 2006-2013. Caveats: Reporting for JRF Indicator 6500 is incomplete and there are inconsistencies across the other JRF financial indicators. The data suggest that Uganda has not progressed towards country ownership of its immunization program.

Uganda's 2006-2013 Reported Government Expenditures on Routine Immunization updated 09/2014

Vaccination Financing Mechanism
Ugandan representatives from the Parliamentary Network on Immunization conducted a study tour in October 2014 to Mongolia to survey the country’s public immunization fund. Immediately thereafter, the parliamentarians mobilized a team to streamline the Mongolian fund parameters into the Ugandan fund charter.

Legislation for Sustainability
The Constitution of Uganda lacks a substantive provision on the right to health generally but makes mention of the right under directive principles of government policy. Parliament has the mandate to make laws to operationalise that constitutional right.

In 2011, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Local Governments completed a mapping of immunization-related legislation across all Ugandan local government areas. In March 2012, the parliamentary law drafters obtained financial and coverage data from National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG). The law drafters subsequently used this data to improve the law. In January 2014, the National Medical Stores approved an appeal to embed a vote function for immunization financing into the budget law. The MOH Director General and EPI technical staff elaborated upon the first draft immunization law in March 2014 and presented it to Parliament for their review and comment.

The Parliamentarians later deemed the first draft ready for a study tour before it could be passed. The MPs resolved to survey Mongolia’s passed immunization law in October 2014. Representatives from the Parliamentary Network then began incorporating provisions from the Mongolian law into the second draft law.

Domestic Advocacy Network
The Parliamentary/MOH Network was established in February 2012 and would proceed to meet regularly. The Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament attended the May 2012 meeting, who subsequently issued several motions that resulted in the passage of a resolution to kickstart production of the first draft immunization law. The Parliamentary Network and the Speaker jointly composed an advocacy letter addressed to the President demanding an adequate immunization budget. The letter was signed by 100 MPs and was sent to the President. Also in May 2012, the Network issued a news statement advocating for public immunization financing.

In January 2014, the Network finalized an advocacy plan for fiscal year 2014. Network representatives attended the Mongolia/Uganda/Vietnam study tour in October 2014, where they learned first-hand about advocacy efforts from a country that has already passed its immunization law.

Major SIF Program Efforts

  • November 2014: Senior Program Officer holds a parliamentary briefing on the draft immunization bill and trust fund.
  • October 2014: Representatives from the Parliamentary Network attend the SIF Mongolia/Uganda/Vietnam peer exchange.
  • September 2014: Senior Program Officer and Parliamentary Network co-organize a parliamentary briefing on draft bill.
  • May 2014: Senior Program Officer attends the General Assembly Meeting for the Uganda Civil Society Immunization Platform.
  • March 2014: Senior Program Officer organizes the multi-institutional Summit on the Pre-Tabling of the Draft Immunization Bill in Parliament.
  • February 2014: Senior Program Officer participates in the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) meeting.
  • December 2013: Senior Program Officer participates in the WHO/Uganda-organized Second Partners Meeting for Immunization Stakeholders on synergizing advocacy activities.
  • August 2013: Ugandan SIF peer exchangers attend the Second Colloquium on Sustainable Immunization Financing in Dakar, Senegal.
  • April 2013: The Ugandan Local Government Association (ULGA) in coordination with the Senior Program Officer hold a legislative briefing with national stakeholders.
  • July 2012: Senior Program Officer becomes member of the Academy’s Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Immunization and attends one of the Committee’s meetings.
  • June 2012: The Ugandan Parliamentary Forum on Immunization (UPFI), UNICEF and SIF hold a peer exchange between Ugandan, Kenyan, Liberian, Nepali and Sierra Leonean country peers.
  • April 2012: Sabin, the Ugandan Local Government Association (ULGA), USAID and the Ministry of Health sponsor a two-day seminar in Kampala on immunization financing.
  • February 2012: Senior Program Officer and Program Director attend a parliamentary briefing in Kampala. Ten MPs form an immunization core group.
  • January 2012: Senior Program Officer and counterparts from the Ugandan Local Government Association organize a two-day briefing in Kampala for over 300 district-level delegates on immunization financing and performance.
  • November 2011: Senior Program Officer and local government counterparts organize three district-level briefings on immunization by-laws and subnational financing.
  • October 2011: Senior Program Officer, UNICEF, WHO and Ugandan Ministry of Health counterparts brief ten media editors on immunization issues.
  • February 2011: Senior Program Officer and Program Director meet with MoH and MoFPE counterparts to discuss decentralized immunization financing advocacy activities and preparations for the March 2011 Sabin Colloquium on SIF.
  • December 2010: A review of Uganda's vaccine-related health legislation, commissioned by Senior Program Officer, is completed.
  • February 2010: Senior Program Officer organizes the second SIF briefing in Uganda. Members of parliament, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, private sector leaders as well as external donor representatives attend.
  • September 2009: First SIF-sponsored parliamentary briefing is held in Kampala.
  • September/October 2008: Senior Program Officer initiates informal discussions with Ministry of Health officials, as well as representatives of the World Bank, UNICEF and WHO.