The Sanitation sector is poorly funded. Dr. Margaret Mungherera, the President of the Uganda World Medical Associations in her paper the Situation of Preventive Health Care in Uganda, which she presented at a recent health forum, says sanitation is often ignored or allocated meagre resources in the health budget.
According to her, sanitation was critical in eliminating diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery amongst others. Julian Kyomuhangi, the Assistant Commissioner Environmental Health Division in the Ministry of Health, Julian Kyomuhangi has confirmed that sanitation receives almost negligible amounts from the Health budget allocations because it is placed under primary health.
The World Bank Economic impacts of poor sanitation in Africa report-2012 found that, Uganda loses 389 billion Ugandan shillings each year due to poor sanitation. Some of the challenges the cited in the report are lack of latrines, clean water for hand washing, drinking and cooking.
For instance, it argues that open defecation costs Uganda USD 41 million, yet eliminating the practice would require less than 650,000 latrines to be built and used. Kyomuhangi says some communities lack hygienic latrines, thus being susceptible to sanitation related ailments.
Commenting on the subject, Chris Baryomunsi MP Kinkiizi East, Kanungu says the problem could be in the way the budget is distributed in different segments of the health sector.
It was observed that an insufficient budget may not cover all the needs of public health, including information and awareness creation on effective waste disposal and water management.