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corruption

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Uganda: a Case Study in Corruption

Uganda, under President Yoweri Museveni, has become a classic case-study of corruption in all its various guises.The citizens of Uganda’s largest donor countries like the United States and Britain may be disturbed to find that while millions of dollars are lost to corruption in Uganda each year, their governments continue to allocate money through the same channels.The loss of funds which could be used to purchase life-saving medications and provide basic health care ranks corruption as the #1 killer in Uganda.

Accountability in the Health System

A key component in Uganda’s anti-malarial effort must be the reform of its healthcare system, which often doesn’t provide the most basic of services. A survey of several hospitals by the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda found that nearly 50% of the time, life-saving drugs such as anti-malarials were not stocked in health centers. The organization also found that more than 70% of all medicines donated to Uganda are being sold to the private sector, denying millions access to desperately needed treatment.The impact of corruption on health care and health infrastructure over time (not to mention the incalculable cost of human lives) , may indeed pose a greater threat than that of malaria and other diseases.

A Thoroughly Corrupted State

Transparency International, an anti-corruption crusader, ranks Uganda at a very low 2.8 on its corruption index.“The scores range from ten (squeaky clean) to zero (highly corrupt). A score of 5.0 is the number Transparency International considers the borderline figure distinguishing countries that do and do not have a serious corruption problem”

Millions Lost a Year to Corruption

The World Bank in 2005 estimated that over $350 million in US dollars is lost to corruption and procurement malpractices in Uganda.Transparency International estimates $950 million is lost to corruption.

The poorest of the poor suffer the most when initiatives to alleviate poverty and end suffering from disease fall far short of providing even the most basic of services.

~ Written by Hellen Otii

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