About Us

Who we are

The Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) is a professional organisation that brings together journalists and other communication professionals from non-government organisations, government and academia. UHCA’s main objectives are: to train, empower and support journalists and public information specialists who disseminate health information. It is legally registered as a national non-profit organisation with national and regional activities.

Structure: UHCA has the relevant institutional structure. It has a secretariat and direct contact with over 1000 journalists, journalism students, health communication professionals and other professionals involved in the dissemination of health information spread throughout the country. The organization is a member of key sector working groups and is mandated to forward and present issues at policy level.

Focus areas:

Our key thematic areas include:

  •  Strengthening communication capacities for media and health advocates
  •  Enhancing platforms for interface, dialogue, exchange, sharing and learning
  •   Strategic policy and programming advocacy
  •   Networking, partnerships and coalition building

Strengthening Communication Capacities for Media and Health advocates

UHCA develops tools, conducts training and provides technical support.

Development of training tools:  We develop tools that facilitate skills acquisition on thematic health related issues. Examples include manuals, modules and guides for learners and facilitators.

Onsite media house training: Station based on-site media trainings are designed and delivered to reach the intended beneficiaries i.e. practicing radio reporters, editors, DJs, presenters and talk-show hosts at the respective media house with the thematic issue.

Communication and Media advocacy training: We equip various media practitioners, health communicators and advocates with knowledge of topical thematic health issues as well as communication and media advocacy skills.

Media fellowships: Journalists are selected and awarded fellowships to facilitate them undertake sustained and well researched coverage focusing on key health aspects.

Communication and advocacy strategic backstopping: We offer technical backstopping to organisations and institutions to design, develop and deliver creative communication and advocacy strategic interventions.

Enhancing Platforms for Interface, Dialogue, Exchange, Sharing and Learning

We promote stakeholder engagement through interactive and experiential platforms.

Media excursions: Media tours enable the journalists to get first hand experiential appreciation of the issues in the communities that they will package and expound via their media outlets.

Media dialogues: Media dialogues are held to increase debate among journalists and stakeholders, clarify issues and misinformation, and generate public outreach through media reporting by the participating media houses.

Community and project visits: We support organizations and institutions to spotlight their health projects and programming by enabling journalists to have in-depth interaction with the various stakeholders to put a “face” to the story.

Media health campaigns: We use strategic events, personalities, media placements to highlight and raise the profile of key health issues that need sustained stakeholder attention. We are part of key organisations which spearhead CSO campaigns like the breast feeding campaign, tobacco control campaign.

Strategic Policy and Programming advocacy

We advocate for policies, laws and practices for better health.

Nutrition: Formulation of the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan, the communication and advocacy strategy of the UNAP and Food and Nutrition policy.

Tobacco control: Enactment and implementation of the tobacco control bill, tobacco economics, health burden of tobacco and guarding against tobacco industry interference

Maternal and child health: Ending maternal mortality in Uganda, increase in budget allocation to maternal health in the Uganda national budget.

Networking, Partnerships and Coalition Building

We build and support alliances that inform and influence health and development.

Scaling up Nutrition: We are also involved in efforts to develop the national Socio-Behavioural Change Communication Strategy for nutrition under the auspices of the Office of the Prime Minister and development partners.

Coalition to Stop Maternal Mortality in Uganda: The coalition is a prime mover for the increase in budget allocation to maternal health in the Uganda national budget.

Maternal Newborn and Child health Coalition: The Coalition championed for the inclusion of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health as a key agenda component of the 126th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

African Health Communication Association: We are the co-founders of the Association, and sit on its Executive.

CTCA: We are part of the Tripartite Consortium that won the bid advertised by the World Health Organisation to host the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), which is championing efforts to put in place policies and laws as well as support implementation of existing legislation on tobacco control in five African countries. We sit on the regional steering committee of the centre.

HIV/AIDS Vaccine Research: We are Vice Chairperson of the Community Advisory Board of the Makerere University Walter Reed Project. This partnership project between the Government of United States and Uganda focuses on HIV Virus vaccine research.

Cancer Control:

Tobacco Control Coordination Mechanism: We are part of the National Tobacco Control Coordination mechanism. This multi-stakeholder mechanism has members from Government and CSOs.

Supporting Informed Health Care Choices in Low Income Countries (SIHCLIC): We are part of the media network of the SIHCLIC project.  The five year collaborative research project aims to improve population health outcomes in Uganda and is supported by research teams in Norway, Australia and England.

Multiple stakeholder outreach: We have direct contact with over 1000 journalists, health communicators, journalism students and other professionals involved in the dissemination of health information.

We have maintained an online presence by having an active website www.uhcauganda.org  as well as a Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube Channel and Soundcloud account that broadcasts UHCA activities, and a blog.