This is the 4th National Community Health Financing (CHF) Conference Save for Health Uganda (SHU) is organising to promote community health financing initiatives and advocate for their integration in national programs. CHF refers to a voluntary, non-profit mechanism under which community members pool resources for their health care in a prepayment arrangement. SHU has worked with both rural and urban families, formal and informal sector groups to form community health insurance (CHI) schemes in nine districts of Uganda.

CHI is one of the CHF instruments for mitigating shocks caused by ill-health and improving access to healthcare for low-income families. The CHI schemes are helping protect families from impoverishing out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures, which is a key component of universal health coverage. The future of these schemes and many others started in more than 20 districts covering over 152,000 individuals lies in having a national policy and legal framework promoting prepayment mechanisms that enable households to plan for their healthcare costs.

Specific aim of the conference

To mobilise leaders and other actors to embrace and support CHF initiatives and the NHIS for universal health insurance coverage.


Uganda has largely been implementing a free healthcare system since 2001, which presumes free access to healthcare services at public facilities. A few public hospitals charge user fees from patients who opt for the private wing. However, household expenditure on healthcare has remained high at 40 percent with 37 percent being out-of-pocket expenditure and only 3% is raised through prepayment mechanisms. Up to 17.5 percent of out-of-pocket expenditure on health is spent at government owned facilities. High out-of-pocket expenditure pushes many of the vulnerable into poverty.

For over 17 years, the Uganda government has been planning to introduce a national health insurance scheme and developed a draft National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Bill, which was approved by Cabinet in June 2019 and tabled in Parliament on 22nd August, 2019. At the same time, in February this year, Parliament granted leave to the Chairperson of the Health Committee, Hon. Dr. Michael Bukenya, to develop a private member’s Bill on NHIS. The National Social Protection Policy, 2015 recognises affordable health insurance as one of the priority social protection interventions. CHI and other CHF initiatives which will be discussed at the conference a envisaged as an avenue for the informal sector to benefit from the NHIS.

This conference will bring together key stakeholders including policy makers, researchers and implementers to share scientific and practical experiences on expanding health insurance as an intervention for achieving universal health coverage in Uganda. Outcomes of the conference will be shared widely with stakeholders including policy makers and development partners.

To showcase the impact of community health financing initiatives on families and healthcare providers, their role in the implementation of the NHIS, and advocate for universal health coverage.

1. Community based health financing schemes: their operations, benefits and impact

2. Integrating Community Health Financing initiatives in other local and national systems and programs (case studies).

3. Progress of Luwero District based Community Health Financing scheme

4. Progress of National Health Insurance Scheme bill

5. The role of Community Health Financing initiatives in linking the informal sector to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

6. Role of leaders at various levels in Community Health Financing and National Health Insurance Scheme implementation.

Participant registration form

Participation fee: UGX 150,000 (for meals & stationary in kampala only) & UGX 200,000 (Kampala & Luweero Visit)

  • Bank details: Bank details: Account Name: Save for Health Uganda; Account Number: 0102012585400; Bank: Standard Chartered Bank; Branch: Speke Road, Kampala.
  • Mobile money number 0773 968 786 in the name of Save for Health Uganda.

Registration deadline: 1st November, 2019


The conference will be held on 13th - 15th November, 2019. On the first day, participants will visit communities and institutions involved in promoting CHI in Luwero district while two days will be dedicated to presentations and discussions.


Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala

Luweero District

Participants will spend the first day of the conference in Luwero district visiting communities and healthcare providers involved in the CHI program. Luwero district has made a significant contribution to the growth of CHI in Uganda through community-level efforts and the commitment of the district leadership. Last year, the district council passed an ordinance (law) to regulate CHI and promote it across the district. In addition, CHI schemes have continuously existed in Luwero since 2000. By December 2018, there were 52 running schemes covering 20,000 individuals, representing 13 percent of all people enrolled in CHI schemes in the country. At least 20 percent of healthcare providers serving CHI schemes are located in the district. These range from health centres to hospitals linked through a referral network established by the schemes.

For the final two days of the conference, participants will gather at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala to share experiences from the field visits and hold discussions with policy makers on the conference topics.

Contacts for more information

1. Makaire Fredrick

Executive Director

Tel : 0772515466

Email: /

2. Nnamulondo Proscovia

Communication and Advocacy Officer

Tel : 0777490902 /0752598394


3rd National Community Health Financing Conference

8th  - 9th  November, 2018


Save for Health Uganda (SHU), a leading promoter of community health insurance (CHI) schemes in Uganda, will together with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and other partners, host the 3rd national community health financing conference in Kampala. Founded in 2002, SHU is a national NGO with a mission to improve the quality of health of Ugandans through community health financing approaches. SHU is currently promoting CHI schemes in 10 districts and advocating for a fair national health insurance scheme (NHIS). 

Background to the conference

Many Ugandans face financial challenges in accessing healthcare services due to poverty and high out-of-pocket payments. The Uganda Household Survey Report of 2016/17 indicated that 21.4% of the population, representing 8.1 million people, were living below the poverty line. This high level of poverty coupled with the high out-of-pocket expenditure at 41%[1] of total health care expenditure, implies that a significant proportion of Ugandans are adversely affected by ill-health. Poor households often resort to distress sale of productive assets to pay for health services, which usually drives the members deeper into poverty.


Community Health Insurance, which started in Uganda in 1996 and currently covers about 150,000 people in 21 districts, is one of the community health financing (CHF) instruments for mitigating shocks caused by ill-health and improving access to healthcare for low-income families. The other CHF instruments include voucher schemes, community health funds, health revolving funds, and drug revolving funds, which all together cover people.


At national level, the government plans to introduce a universal national health insurance system. This commitment is anchored in the Uganda Vision 2040, the National Development Plan II, the Health Sector Development Plan 2015/2016 – 2019/2020, and the National Social Protection Policy, 2015, among others. At the moment, the draft NHIS bill, 2014, is pending presentation to Parliament.

The previous two National Community Health Financing Conferences

The two national CHF conferences were held in 2016 and 2017. The 2016 conference attended by 102 people brought to the limelight the CHF initiatives in the country and demonstrated their potential to contribute to the realisation of a fair NHIS. And as a result, CHI gained recognition among some policy makers as a viable social protection intervention in Uganda. The 2017 conference attended by 160 participants mobilised support for CHF schemes to enhance their capacity and contribute to achieving a fair NHIS for Uganda. Consequently, Luwero district started the process of establishing a district-wide CHI scheme, the Ministry of Health chose Luwero district to host the 2018 World Health Day national celebrations, and health insurance for the informal sector has gained more prominence in national level dialogues. In addition, several social entrepreneurs have developed affordable products for CHI schemes. 

The 3rdNational Community Health Financing Conference

This year’s conference will build onto the achievements of the previous two conferences.  The major aim of the 3rd conference is to enhance capacity of the informal sector to uptake CHF and similar social protection initiatives for sustainable growth.

Objectives of the conference

The specific objectives of the conference are:

i.       To review progress made in implementing community health financing and introducing the National Health Insurance Scheme in the past 12 months.

ii.     To demonstrate innovations in managing community health financing and other social protection initiatives for enrolment and retention of households of informal sector workers.

iii.    To identify feasible strategies how the informal sector can access community health insurance, the National Health Insurance Scheme and other social protection initiatives.

Conference theme

The theme of the conference is enabling effective participation of the informal sector in community health financing and other social protection initiatives.

Dates and venue

The conference will take place on 8th – 9th November, 2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.

Contacts for more information

1.    Makaire Fredrick, Executive Director, Save for Health Uganda; Tel 0772515466; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.  Nnamulondo Proscovia, Communication and Advocacy Officer, Save for Health Uganda; Tel 0777490902 /0752598394; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[1] National Health Accounts, 2017