USAID Awards $50 Million to Plan International to Improve Health Care in Northern Uganda

Aug 30, 2012, 10:30 ET from Plan International USA

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Plan International USA will lead a multi-year collaborative effort to improve health systems in 15 districts in Northern Uganda. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Plan and its partners a $50 million grant to:

  • Increase the availability of quality health services at the community level; and
  • Strengthen systems for effective and sustainable delivery of quality health services.

"The award reflects USAID's commitment to Uganda and its trust in Plan to improve the quality of and access to health care for marginalized groups -- such as women and girls, children, and people living with HIV and AIDS -- in some of the most remote and hard-to-reach communities of Northern Uganda," said Tessie San Martin, President and CEO of Plan International USA.

The grant will fund a community-led initiative that will combine expertise in high impact health services delivery, technical innovations, and best practices in health systems strengthening with proven methods of community engagement.  This creates a dynamic community-owned health system that responds to the unique needs of the people of Northern Uganda. The foundation of the project approach is that strong communities are capable of participating more fully in the determination of their own needs and priorities, and that community engagement leads to lasting and positive change.

Plan International USA will lead a strategic partnership to implement the USAID-funded project over a five-year period. Primary partners include:

  • Plan International – one of the oldest and largest children's development organizations in the world. Plan works in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty.
  • IntraHealth International – a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating sustainable and accessible health care by strengthening the capacity of health workers and health systems. Utilizing state-of-the-art tools and approaches, IntraHealth addresses critical health system challenges linked to planning, preparing, and supporting the health care workforce in meeting priority health service needs.
  • Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM) – the oldest public health school in the United States, founded in 1912. SPHTM brings together seven academic departments to improve the health of populations worldwide through strengthening health systems, building stronger communities, and facilitating healthy behaviors.
  • Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU) – an organization specializing in strategic behavioral change communications for health and development in Uganda. CDFU has experience utilizing community mobilization, interpersonal communication, and mass media to promote change at the individual and community levels.
  • The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) – one of the largest indigenous non-governmental organizations providing HIV/AIDS services in Uganda and Africa. It cares for more than 100,000 people annually through HIV counseling, medical care as well as social support.
  • Uganda Health Marketing Group – an indigenous-owned organization that works in partnership with public, private, and civil society institutions to improve the quality of life of Ugandans through the provision of superior and affordable health care solutions. It aims to increase access, knowledge, and correct use of products and services for reproductive health, HIV, malaria, and maternal and child health.
  • Harvard University's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations – a university-wide center for the study of nonprofit organizations and civil society. The Hauser Center seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about the leadership of nonprofit and non-governmental organizations through the key goals of research, education, and practice. 

"USAID works in partnership with the government, private sector and people of Uganda to increase access to quality health services and encourage healthy behaviors to improve health and health systems in Uganda. USAID's goal is to develop a sustainable program that results in improved health and nutrition in focus districts and targeted populations," said Karen Klimowski, Acting Mission Director USAID/Uganda.

Over the past two decades, Northern Uganda has faced cycles of violence preventing Ugandans from meeting their basic needs. Stability has returned following peace talks in 2006, and in the past few years, the majority of the 1.8 million displaced Ugandans have returned home. Despite notable gains in malaria prevention and reproductive health initiatives, communities in the North still face significant barriers to quality health care services.

"We are thrilled to work with such established partners to improve the lives of the Northern Ugandan people," said San Martin. "The project will invest heavily in community-owned health services and systems, creating sustainable positive momentum that will ultimately result in the improved well-being of Northern Ugandans for years to come."

About Plan International USA
Founded in 1937, Plan International USA is part of a global organization that works side by side with communities around the world to end the cycle of poverty for children. Plan reaches more than 56.5 million children in 50 developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our solutions are designed up-front to be owned by communities for generations to come and range from clean water and healthcare programs to education projects and child protection initiatives. For more information, visit

SOURCE Plan International USA