Uganda is still a developing country, although its healthcare is level with other countries that are also part of the WHO AFRO region. For those living in Uganda, life expectancy is currently around 58 years according to recent statistics. The child mortality rate (where a child dies before reaching five years old) is at around 66 out of 1,000 live births.
The country’s health system aims to provide the Uganda National Minimum Health Care Package (UNMHCP). It includes services offered by both traditional health clinics, along with local healers, private practitioners and community-based healthcare. This is what’s known as a decentralized healthcare system, comprised of both district and national levels.
If you want to experience life in Uganda first-hand, you should ensure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone traveling to Uganda be prescribed with medication for Malaria before, during and after your trip. And you should also be vaccinated for hepatitis A, typhoid, and yellow fever.
Expats traveling around Uganda have access to a wealth of transport opportunities, with traffic in the country having increased significantly over the past few years. In particular, you should quickly become familiar with mini bus taxis (also known as matatus), which are particularly popular with backpackers as they provide swift transport to major urban parts of the country.
There are several different kinds of buses available for transport between different areas of the country, including international and domestic public buses, Uganda post buses, and pick-up trucks (for more rural areas, when the roads are just a bit too tricky for matatus). Motorbike taxis (or boda-boda) are another popular form of transport you can find just about anywhere, although in some smaller towns, such as Mbale and Kabale, you can still find them in bicycle form.
Expatriates living in Uganda may also choose to rent their own car complete with an experienced driver, or hire what’s known as a ‘special taxi’ – just be sure to practice your negotiation skills first as prices can be expensive!
For safety reasons, you should not travel between towns after dark, unless traveling between Kampala and Entebbe.
Currently, there is the constant and relatively high threat of civil unrest, terrorist attacks, and criminal activity. We recommend you exercise a high degree of caution, whether you are living in Uganda, or simply traveling there for a visit.
Always pay close attention to your personal security and possessions, and always stay up-to-date with goings on in the country so that you can be prepared for any new safety or security risks.
If you’re in the Kampala region or other riskier parts of Uganda, watch out for violent protests and demonstrations; some have caused serious injury and death. In general, try to avoid political rallies, demonstrations and protects. You can find advice by turning on the radio and paying attention to other local media.
There is a serious risk of armed banditry in some areas of Uganda, including the border with South Sudan, Kidepo National Park, the Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda, and the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (including the Murchison Falls National Park, the Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park).
Homosexual relations are currently illegal whilst living in Uganda, with a zero tolerance policy. Westerners have been known to be prosecuted for engaging in homosexual activity whilst in the country.