Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Towards more inclusive urban health systems for refugee wellbeing: Lessons from Kampala, Uganda

Anna Walnycki, Lucy Earle, William Monteith

International Institute for Environment and Development



Uganda has a progressive national refugee policy that provides freedom of movement and the right to work, own land and access basic services in urban centres. However, refugees experience a number of barriers to realizing these rights in practice, including hidden costs, language gaps, discrimination and institutional incapacity. This working paper examines how refugees access healthcare services in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, the barriers to access, and the impact of these barriers on refugee wellbeing. Making use of an innovative refugee-led methodology, it demonstrates the ways refugees themselves are extending healthcare systems in the city through the training and provision of translators and community health officers. Nevertheless, there remain significant gaps in service provision that require government and humanitarian agencies to work much more closely with refugee communities if these gaps are to be overcome.


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