Uganda is faced with the repatriation of almost 3 million people who have been living in refugee camps for over 20 years.  This population is trying to recover homelands and establish community relationships in areas with no social or physical infrastructure. There are few clean water or waste management resources, and little public health knowledge. Without intervention, water borne disease and other infectious illness will plague this displaced population.

Public Health International (PHI) is in process of establishing a self-sustaining indigenous public health project to aid Uganda.  This project is based on seventeen years of successful experience in Ecuador with a program called Salud Para el Pueblo: “Health for the People”.  The Ecuadorian program has won recognition from the American Public Health Association, the UN Commission for Sustainable Development, and the World Bank.

As in Ecuador, the Ugandan effort will utilize Health Committees whose members are elected community leaders. The Committees will be trained and supported by PHI public health professionals to develop public health infrastructure and expand educational resources. The PHI project will focus on areas within Uganda not served by other Nongovernmental Organization (NGO).

PHI is working with Rotary International and World Vision to meet this monumental need.  World Vision has committed two-thirds of the million dollar funding requirement for the project.  The Rotary program is in process of considering a competitive grant to PHI for the balance. The funding will support Committee efforts to train and set projects for installation of wells and latrines.  Funding will also provide educational materials which the health committees will use to serve developing villages.  The program will also provide agricultural training and assistance and develop markets for farm products.  PHI’s leadership will support the public health committees with a view to making them independent and self-sustaining for long-term benefit to Uganda.