Shining a Light on Task-Shifting Policy : Exploring opportunities for adaptability in non-communicable disease management programmes in Uganda

Godfrey Katende, Mary Donnelly

Abstract


In terms of disease burden, many low- and middle-income countries are currently experiencing a transition from infectious to chronic diseases. In Uganda, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have increased significantly in recent years; this challenge is compounded by the healthcare worker shortage and the underfunded health system administration. Addressing the growing prevalence of NCDs requires evidence-based policies and strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality rates; however, the integration and evaluation of new policies and processes pose many challenges. Task-shifting is the process whereby specific tasks are transferred to health workers with less training and fewer qualifications. Successful implementation of a task-shifting policy requires appropriate skill training, clearly defined roles, adequate evaluation, an enhanced training capacity and sufficient health worker incentives. This article focuses on task-shifting policy as a potentially effective strategy to address the growing burden of NCDs on the Ugandan healthcare system.


Keywords


Health Workforce; Physician Shortage Area; Community Health Planning; Delivery of Health Care; Uganda.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2016.16.02.005

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

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