Executive Director’s Message
The work of the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau began over 50 years ago, motivated by the need to create a coordinating structure for the health services of Protestant churches in Uganda. UPMB started off as a small coordinating agency comprised of nine (9) members. At that time the UPMB secretariat was housed in a store on the premises of Mengo hospital. From these humble beginnings, the bureau has grown into a national umbrella organization for 291-member hospitals and health centres from all over the country.
These 291 faith based hospitals and health centres are located mainly in rural environments and have existed through the willful collaboration of the people as their primary objective is to operate for social rather than material goals. They therefore represent an extremely important asset for the welfare of the people especially in rural environments and the poorer areas of Uganda. Their potential is enhanced by the credibility and trustworthiness accorded to them by the communities they serve and by government and other stakeholders. As church based facilities, they have well established social networks and are well positioned for delivering services that depend on strong community interventions such as HIV/AIDS programs.
The mandate for the churches to be involved in health and healing is biblically-derived. The New Testament is characterized by accounts of Jesus Christ restoring people to health and wholeness during His ministry on earth.Through Jesus Christ and fullness of the Gospel there is the opportunity for faith-based health organizations to offer holistic healing and transformation. The principles and practices are founded on Biblical teachings and offer the possibilities of community transformation and improved health through development concepts.
UPMB has for over 60 years supported and facilitated the church health services to implement this healing mission. We now have experience in supporting our members to provide quality healthcare to the communities they serve. Though the challenges are great, there have also been enormous successes. Both defeats and victories have built a formidable body of knowledge. There is a solid basis on which the Bureau can give technical advice, judge or propose policy and enhance program implementation. Member units now benefit from support supervision, health information management systems development, scholarships, new donor relationships, technical assistance, as well as strong national representation and advocacy.
UPMB is committed to continuing to be a significant player in the provision of health services by the Protestant Churches in Uganda. We shall continue to play a facilitatory and supportive role especially at this time when rapid external challenges pose a significant threat to their sustainability. We are also committed to continuing our role as facilitator, coordinator and advocate as far as government and other stakeholders are concerned. Only then can we successfully build upon the achievements of the past to move forward into the future. We are deeply grateful to all those who have supported our work in the past and we hope and pray that this support shall be sustained and expanded in years to come.