In England we have about 100,000 Doctors working in the NHS and with a population of 51 Million that works out at one doctor to every 510 people. In Uganda with a population of 32.3 million there are about 2600 doctors which is one doctor for every 12,500.
But it gets worse. Population is growing at 2.69% compound and when you add this population growth to the doctors who die or retire and then add on the 152 who will graduate this year the patients per doctor goes up to !2,800 a worsening of 2% every year.
Infant mortality is 65 per 1000 live births compared with our 4.85 which is bettered by many developed countries.
A new Medical School was opened at Gulu about 3 years ago and this makes 3 in the country but it is going to take a lot more to make a real difference.
Uganda has 32 Nursing Colleges but here the ratio of nurses per 1 Million of population is only 60 whereas in England it is 7800 per million.
This represents a major problem worsened by the average nurse salary of less than £100 per month and a recent survey showing that 70% of Ugandan nurses are hoping or planning to leave the country to work in Europe or USA.
The NHS works hard to ensure that no recruitment is done in Uganda and many other Sub Saharan countries but sadly the same cannot be said for non NHS health organisations.
Lots of our HUGS supporters work in health and we decided about 2 years ago to sponsor a highly experienced practise nurse call Grace who has been working for some years dealing with maternity, HIV/Aids and Malaria among other things. She won a place in the University at Gulu and completed her first year training to become a doctor.
She is a very courageous Nun and loves playing football and netball with all the other students where she is the only Sister.