Alternative financing mechanisms for ART programs in health facilities in Uganda: a mixed-methods approach

Henry Zakumumpa, Sara Bennett, Freddie Ssengooba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Sub-Saharan Africa is heavily dependent on global health initiatives (GHIs) for funding antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up. There are indications that global investments for ART scale-up are flattening. It is unclear what new funding channels can bridge the funding gap for ART service delivery. Many previous studies have focused on domestic government spending and international funding especially from GHIs. The objective of this study was to identify the funding strategies adopted by health facilities in Uganda to sustain ART programs between 2004 and 2014 and to explore variations in financing mechanisms by ownership of health facility. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was employed. A survey of health facilities (N = 195) across Uganda which commenced ART delivery between 2004 and 2009 was conducted. Six health facilities were purposively selected for in-depth examination. Semi-structured interviews (N = 18) were conducted with ART Clinic managers (three from each of the six health facilities). Statistical analyses were performed in STATA (Version 12.0) and qualitative data were analyzed by coding and thematic analysis. Results: Multiple funding sources for ART programs were common with 140 (72%) of the health facilities indicating at least two concurrent grants supporting ART service delivery between 2009 and 2014. Private philanthropic aid emerged as an important source of supplemental funding for ART service delivery. ART financing strategies were differentiated by ownership of health facility. Private not-for-profit providers were more externally-focused (multiple grants, philanthropic aid). For-profit providers were more client-oriented (fee-for-service, insurance schemes). Public facilities sought additional funding streams not dissimilar to other health facility ownership-types. Conclusion: Over the 10-year study period, health facilities in Uganda diversified funding sources for ART service delivery. The identified alternative funding mechanisms could reduce dependence on GHI funding and increase local ownership of HIV programs. Further research evaluating the potential contribution of the identified alternative financing mechanisms in bridging the global HIV funding gap is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 23 2017


  • ART scale-up
  • ART scale-up
  • Global health initiatives
  • HIV funding
  • Health systems
  • Implementation research
  • Mixed-methods
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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