Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Adrienne Ettinger


Due to the rapid rise of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) has prioritized NCD prevention, early diagnosis, and management. In partnership with the World Diabetic Foundation, MoH has embarked on a countrywide program to build capacity of the health facilities to address NCDs. A needs assessment was developed and conducted in 13 regional referral hospitals, 27 general hospitals, and 14 health center IVs in Uganda to: (1) assess the capacity of health units to detect and manage noncommunicable diseases; (2) describe provider knowledge, attitudes, resources, and practices, and (3) identify areas of improvement and areas in need of funding and training. Quantitative data on the human resources and skills, NCDs prevalence, services, equipment, medicines and stockouts, laboratory tests, referral system, health care providers' skills and attitudes, community engagement, and NCD association membership were collected through the needs assessment, and qualitative interviews were conducted for supplemental information. Data were analyzed and summary statistics (N, % and Mean ±SD, where applicable) for each facility type were generated, and frequencies and percents were used to summarize each of the major aspects of the health facilities. Results of this assessment demonstrate that there remain significant gaps in the resources and personnel at all facilities. Although there is variability among them, none of the facilities meet the WHO standards for essential tools and medicines to implement effective NCDs interventions. The regional referral hospitals fare the best compared to general hospitals and health center IVs, but all facilities report a concerning lack of NCD screening and care services. The assessment results demonstrate the need for Uganda to scale-up low cost, high impact NCD interventions and strengthen the knowledge and capacity of health personnel to reduce NCD disability and death in the country.


This is an Open Access Thesis.