2002 - SHU formed in Luwero district
2003 - SHU registered as a nongovernmental organisation
2006 - Beginning of operations in Bushenyi area covering Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma
2009 - Opening of Kampala Head Office
2009 - Expansion of operations to Sheema District
2012 - SHU granted licence to operate countrywide
2013 - Expansion to Masaka District
2013 - Beginning of operations in Mubende District
2016 – Opening of Wobulenzi Satellite Office
2016 – Hosted the first National Community Health Financing Conference in Kampala
2017 – Expansion to Mityana District
2021 – Launched operations in Iganga, Bugweri and Mayuge district
2021 - Started supporting establishing of CHI schemes in Nebbi, Zombo and Pakwach district
SHU was born out of conviction and concern for the people in greater Luwero district, which included Nakaseke and Nakasongola, facing real health challenges where community members were dying at home because the health care bills were catastrophic. Many who dared to go could either escape from hospitals or get detained after recovery until the hospital bills were paid. This is a common phenomenon in many rural poor communities in Uganda.
Centre International de Dévelopementet de Recherche (CIDR), a French development organisation had piloted a community health financing (CHF) project in Luwero for three years. The evaluation showed that not much result was achieved and the organisation wound up activities in Uganda. The community mindset needed to be changed and that required long term investment.
The young graduates who comprised the local staff of CIDR were convinced that the CHF approach could work and had the vision to see it grow. The staff were moved by the suffering of people who were facing hardships raising money to pay health care bills. The local staff team negotiated with CIDR to continue with the project but under new management, hence SHU was born in 2002 and officially registered in March 2003.
The reasons for establishing SHU were: to address the financial challenges people were facing in accessing health care services; empower the communities on how to generate resources to finance their health care needs; and improve people’s access to health care services. The founders wanted to see a productive and healthy community, able to access health care services and not sell their assets in distress, for treatment. What started as a pilot project in Luwero district has now expanded to other districts of: Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Mubende, Mityana, Sheema, Bushenyi, Masaka, Mitooma, Iganga, Bugweri, Mayuge and Kampala.
1. Health education
2. Health insurance education
3. Support to households to improve their incomes
4. Community health financing (CHF) schemes formation, promotion and support supervision
5. Capacity building for managing CHF schemes and providing quality health care
6. Lobbying and advocacy for CHI, quality health care services, and an all inclusive National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
7. Accrediting quality healthcare providers
8. Supporting schemes networks to contract and purchase health care services for CHF schemes.
9. CHF schemes coordination and networking
10. Empowering women to access health care services and participate in leadership.