Planning your elective--Uganda
Mark Wilson gives handy hints on organising an elective in Uganda
Uganda, a former British colony, has had relatively good economic growth since democracy in 1986. It is still a very poor country, however, and in the north problems with rebel attacks and ambushes prevail. HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis are all very common.
HIV infection is a major problem, although recent data show a reduction in the prevalence in pregnant women. About 1.5 million people in the country are thought to be HIV positive. Prevalence can reach 30% in some city areas. In rural areas it can be 15%, so always be very careful and use universal precautions when doing procedures. As of 2000, 55 000 cases of AIDS have been reported. The ratio of male to female cases is 1:1.2.1
Other common conditions are tuberculosis, malaria, measles, trauma, and gastrointestinal infections. Child health (especially immunisation), disease surveillance, and public health are all receiving high priority. The national health research organisation