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The following broad achievements were identified from the implementation of the previous strategic plan 2007-2011:

a) Development of the Patients’ Charter

 UNHCO spearheaded the formulation of a Patient’s Charter for Uganda which provides an overall framework for empowerment of health consumers to demand for high quality healthcare and promote accountability in the health sector. The charter was adopted by the MOH and it is being implemented in the health sector. The Patients Charter clearly defines the relationship between duty bearers and right holders hence facilitating health consumers’ contribution to the development of a healthcare system that responds to their needs. Once translated into local languages and disseminated countrywide, this Charter will contribute to citizen’s ownership of health services and improvement of both health-worker and health-consumer appreciation of their rights and responsibilities.


b)   Influenced formulation of health policies and programs

As the platform for health consumers countrywide, UNHCO represents health rights focused Civil Society organisations at various strategic levels including the Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC), Maternal and Child Health Working Group (MCHWG) and National Health Insurance (NHI) task force. Besides influencing the development and approval of the patients’ charter by the MOH, UNHCO’s strategic positioning has enabled it contribute to the formulation of the National Health Policy II, Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan 2010/11-2014/15, the Public Private Partnership in Health (PPPH) policy, and development of a manual on Health, Human Rights and Gender.


Furthermore, UNHCO and 50 other CSOs lodged a landmark petition (Petition 16) to the constitutional court, which if successful would compel government to recognise the right to health and compensate deaths responsibility by government. The CSOs, under the maternal health coalition coordinated by UNHCO, are jointly advocating for improvement of maternal health services.


c) Provided Leadership for health focused Advocacy CSOs- the Voices for Health Rights (VHR) Coalition

UNHCO coordinates and hosts a coalition of 30 CSOs on Voices for Health Rights (VHRs). The coalition has rallied a critical mass of CSOs to champion advocacy for the right to health. The added value from this coalition is harmonization of CSO efforts, improved coordination with sector players and consolidation of capacities resident in the member organisations. UNHCO is deeply involved in the coordination of civil society organizations in health to commemorate the Health Rights Day (7th December) held during the annual Human rights week. This is to raise public awareness on the right to health.


d) Increased membership in national and international health related networks and fora

UNHCO is a member of international networks like IAPO and RATN. In the last few years, the organisation has developed partnerships with the World Bank, European Union and WHO to promote the rights based approach in healthcare delivery as well as monitor and provide feedback to decision-makers and service providers on the effective delivery of health services in Uganda. UNHCO is highly recognised at national and international level by reputable organisations partners including  Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation, Sida, Cordaid,  DfID and the World Bank as a lead advocacy organisation for the right to health. UNHCO is the current lead CSO for social accountability platform (health) hosted by the Uganda National NGO Forum.


e) Increased awareness on health rights and health policies at community level

UNHCO’s work has contributed to increased awareness of the rights and responsibilities of healthcare consumers and those of healthcare providers and policy makers at both national and district levels. This has been through regular sensitisation of local communities and health providers on major aspects of the National Health Policy in relation to the rights based approach as well as fostering dialogue between consumers and providers to create a solid partnership for a common goal. However, country wide awareness remains a challenge.

About Communications Officer


  1. James Talibita Moses


    The 18th of November 2015 saw the gazette of the Tobacco Control Act no 22 in the Uganda Gazette Vol. CVIII No. 67, this 18th of February 2016 leaves Tobacco control Activists with a paltry two months according to section 2 of the Act that provides that; ‘This Act shall come into force after six months from the date of its publication in the Gazette.’

    The Act was enacted inter alia to control demand, supply, exposure and consumption of tobacco and related products through establishment of the Tobacco control committee, insulate tobacco control policies, laws and programs from interference of the Tobacco industry so as to fulfill Uganda’s obligation and commitment as a party to the World Health Organisation Frame work Convention on Tobacco Control(WHOFCTC).

    The Act employees a citizens’ participation approach which empowers citizens to carry out certain roles on top of Public interest litigation, then fines and imprisonment sanctions to deter offenders of the law to ameliorate the enforcement dilemmas of enforcement agencies.

    To enforce prohibition of smoking in public places subsection 4 of section 12 places a duty on the person responsible for the public place, workplace or means of public transport to order person found contravening the section to immediately cease smoking, require smoker to leave the place or disembark from means of transport immediately or cause arrest if person fails to comply with a caution. Sub section (5) of the same owner of the premises shall ensure there are no ash trays or other items that suggest smoking in a public place or in such places where smoking is prohibited, contravening the section is commission of an offence and convict is liable to fine not exceeding 10 currency points equivalent to two hundred thousand (200,000/=) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five months or both, subsequent convictions lead to revocation of licence for the premises by the issuing authority and closure of premises for not less than six months.


    Hello Sir,
    hope this finds you well.Can i kindly get in touch with you to discuss my proposal on tobacco control.
    my telephone number is 0773557965 or 0702908195.Its very important and result oriented
    Kind regards

  3. Please visit us at our offices in Bukoto, Plot 744, Namuli Rd. We shall discuss details on partnership when we meet.

  4. Moses Talibita

    Inconvenience Smokers improves House hold income: what the salient sections of the Tobacco Control Act of Uganda say?

    The Tobacco Control Act is now fully enforceable, having underwent a transitional phase from the 18th of May 2016 to 18th of May 2017. This was after taking Judicial Notice that BAT who had applied for an injunction so that the implementation and enforcement is halted.

    1. The Law creates 100% smoke free environments. Public Health concerns all of Us and this was intimated by Counsel for the applicant where then is the point that Public Health Activists and economists find themselves at. The Distance issue should be an agreeable point on intercession the law markers set it at 50 meters away from Public places, work places and Public means of transport away from out door places, they found not scientific justification to concede on indoor places where they place a total ban on smoking in the indoor. While agreeing to the 1995 Constitutional framers the Tobacco Control Advocates included section 11 of the tobacco Control Act that shall ‘Every person has a right to a smoke free environment’ This functionalises article 39 of the Constitution that says Every Person has a right to a clean and healthy Environment’ Smoke reduces the quality of air.

    1. Smokers unlike non smokers have a duty to ensure that their smoke does not hurt not smokers. Subsec. 2 of the TCA calls or imposes a duty of the Smokers not to expose the non smokers, this is replicated in the distance of 50 meters way from places that give services to children, and the 3 rd and 5th schedule are elaborate on places where smoking is prohibited and selling of tobacco and related products. When smokers are not smoking from any place of choice as happens on the plane where their addiction goes on holidays and Airports give them no room to when they have stop overs they have never reported a starved smoker of tobacco dead!

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