Despite control efforts, malaria remains
the leading cause of death in Uganda, with approximately 8-13 million episodes reported
by the Ministry of Health each year 1. A 2009 national malaria indicator survey revealed that 45% of
Ugandan children were infected with malaria parasites, revealing the group that
carries the vast majority of this burden 2. Although four species of malaria are present, Plasmodium falciparum predominates in Kampala, accounting for over 95%
of cases3,4. Progress has been made to reduce the intensity of malaria
transmission in Uganda by implementing key control measures including insecticide
treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying (IRS) and the recommended use of ACTs
as first line treatment 1. However, this progress has slowed in recent years and numerous obstacles
need to be overcome to reach the ambitious targets in malaria reduction set by
governments and international organisations5,6.


The public health care facilities in
Kampala are limited and face difficulties including staff shortages, drug stock
outs and long waiting times 7. This has resulted in the majority of the population relying on the
private sector to provide treatment1,8–10. The government in Uganda is now trying to strengthen the links
between the private and the public sectors, with the aim of improving access to
health care across the country 11. The Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) initiative
launched in 2010 and aimed to increase the availability of affordable and
quality assured medicines by introducing subsidised ACTs across seven countries
12.  The scheme was successful
and showed that, when coupled with comprehensive communication campaigns,
subsidies can be an effective way to improve the availability and price of key
medicines 12.

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