The engagement of the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) towards a peaceful solution to the 21-year-old conflict has been welcomed. Nonetheless, the search for durable solutions is still ongoing and the political-military situation remains very fluid. A recent mapping and assessment of health services’ availability in northern Uganda showed that the leading causes of morbidity in the region remain malaria, respiratory tract infections and diarrhoea. As far as HIV/AIDS is concerned, the new HIV infection rate is three times higher in Acholi districts than the national average. A joint UN assessment was conducted in Lira and showed that there is a need to rehabilitate, equip and construct new health facilities.
As a consequence of the conclusion of a peace agreement, several hundred thousands internally displaced persons (IDPs) have started to return to their original locations, mainly in Lira. Thus, one of the main challenges in 2007 will be to ensure basic health services to returnees. Furthermore, because of the presence of many health cluster partners, coordination of programme intervention still remains a challenge.