I feel privileged to contribute a foreword to Prof Anthony Mbonye’s book on Uganda’s Health Sector Through the Turbulent Politics (1958-2018). Prof Mbonye presents a historical account of events that have shaped the health sector in Uganda over the last 60 years, and relates these events to the shifting political landscape. This makes two particularly important contributions.
The first, is to track past events and highlight lessons from which to improve present and future interventions. For example, tracking infant and child mortality rates from 1960 to 2018, clearly shows that Uganda’s health sector has steadily improved. This is likely due to the developments in infrastructure, human resources, the availability of essential drugs, clean water, public health responses to improve sanitation, hygiene and nutrition, as well as malaria control.
The second important contribution of this book is the prominence it gives to some pioneering personalities, their works and innovations – which serves to inspire the efforts of current and future generations. Prof Mbonye further reveals that health and politics are intertwined and thus highlights the necessity for politicians to become powerful advocates of the health sector. We learn an essential lesson that managers of the health sector require experience, the knowledge and most importantly, the skills to manage human resources for better health outcomes.
I commend Prof Anthony Mbonye for presenting Uganda’s health sector in a frank and informative way. It’s my hope that readers, students, researchers, health workers and policymakers, will find this book inspiring.
Dr Ruhakana Rugunda Prime Minister of Uganda