The Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS-Uganda) seeks to achieve its overall goal of “working towards increased access to affordable, quality essential medicines, especially the poor and vulnerable.” For the period of its Strategic Plan 2005-10, this is being done through three strategic programmes: 1) Community Outreach; 2) Health Policy Advocacy; and 3) Health Counselling and Complaints (C&C) Desk. In addition, there is one supportive programme, Building a Professional HEPS Organisation.
The key developments in the operating environment during 2008 were the government allocation of resources for procurement of ARVs for the first time in the national response; the introduction of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill in 2008; and the management of the National Medical Stores (NMS) changed. There however, negative steps in the national budget, where there was a reduction in the proportion of resources allocated to the health sector, which created an even bigger need for civil society intervention to support especially the poor and vulnerable, to achieve and maintain a decent health status. In addition, while Ushs 60 billion was allocated to ARVs, only Ushs 38 billion was allocated to system strengthening, which means the health system remained too weak to sustain a scaled up ART programme.