Nursing diaspora: Addressing chronic diseases in Mubende, Uganda

21 May 2019
Sarah Clarke

Nursing diaspora: Addressing chronic diseases in Mubende, Uganda

Since 2012, we’ve worked closely with the Uganda Diaspora Health Foundation on initiatives in both Uganda and the United Kingdom.

Through funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing, we completed five workshops in collaboration with the Uganda Diaspora Health Foundation in Uganda (Mubende, Kira and Kampala) from 2014 to 2015.

Together we were successful in raising awareness, sharing information, delivering educational programmes and supporting grassroots initiatives.

  • Stimulated by a well-received workshop in Kampala (2014), which highlighted the importance of chronic disease prevention among people with mental health problems, a new programme was instituted by East London NHS Foundation Trust to focus on improving the physical health of patients in Butabika Hospital, the national referral mental health institution in Uganda.


  • A very popular and over-subscribed workshop on physical activity, was reported in a peak time television news programme in Kampala and in local newspapers and included an interview with a C3 representative, thus reaching many tens of thousands of people. Diaspora colleagues have been involved in further work with local authorities and football teams who are very keen to promote the links between physical activity and health.


  • District volunteer teams (nurses, village health teams, local councillors, community workers and Uganda NCD Alliance health experts) delivered key messages on healthy behaviours to help prevent chronic disease. A Community Dialogue and Engagement project in Mubende, Uganda, involving 573 participants resulted in a significant increase in knowledge and 60% of participants committing to changing their lifestyles. Many of the participants said they would share the information with others, particularly in relation to the dangers of tobacco use and the different ways it can affect their families.

A midwife presents during the Healthy Mothers: Healthy Babies workshop.

  • Feedback from the midwives and 34 expectant mothers in the co-created Healthy Mothers: Healthy Babies project in Uganda indicated that the intervention helped create a positive relationship between them, and made a positive link between the mothers and the health facility services. The midwives realised their vital role in health promotion and the importance of integrating healthy lifestyles and chronic prevention into their antenatal care and other health activities.


  • A joint C3 UDHF stand at the 2014 and 2015 Uganda UK Conventions, attended by over 2,000 participants, attracted a constant stream of people interested in talking about chronic diseases and mental health. Of the 70 participants who took up the offer of having their blood pressure checked 80% had raised or high blood pressure and were given appropriate advice.

District volunteer teams delivered key messages about healthy behaviours.