“If your health services largely depend on the kindness of other countries, then you know you are a banana republic. If you have to hold a ceremony to receive just 9 GeneExpert machines, which your country cannot afford to buy without a fuss, then you are a banana republic.” Geoffrey Buga in response to a story, “Uganda receives Shs 500m Tuberculosis machines” that was published in the Daily Monitor newspaper.
The story in the Daily Monitor was accompanied by a photo of Uganda’s State Minister for Health (General Duties), Hon. Sarah Opendi, receiving GeneXpert tuberculosis (TB) testing machines from the Ambassador of the United States of America to Uganda, Her Excellency Deborah Malac; a photo that was taken by Rachel Mabala.
Buga’s critique provides a useful analytical framework through which to discuss the state of financing of TB management in Uganda. Using the example of TB management, are Uganda’s health care services largely dependent on the kindness of other countries? If so, how so and why so? Is Uganda unable to afford to buy nine GeneXpert machines without a fuss? If so, how so and why so?
Picture Credit: Snoggie’s World