A Systematic Review of the Healthcare Access and Utilization Barriers Faced by Refugees in Uganda

  • Rodrigue Muderhwa Bacigale International Research Consortium
  • Alex Nyakabasa Murhula Action Network for Development and Integrated Progress
  • Pascal Kayembe Action for the well-being of seniors
  • Joyeux Mugisho Mbiso People for Peace and Defence of Rights
  • Marie Zawadi Mutabesha Young African Refugee for Integral Development
Keywords: Barriers To Healthcare Service, Health Policy, Access, Utilisation, Refugees, Systematic Review
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The increasing number of refugees in Uganda is putting a significant strain on the country’s already limited resources, particularly those for healthcare. The government has implemented policies in response to the crisis. However, numerous obstacles have hampered these efforts. The aim of this article is to review previously published research by synthesising global evidence on factors that impede refugees’ access to healthcare services across the country. Articles published between 2016 and 2022 were searched in the Google Scholar and PubMed central databases. Google Scholar yielded 21,300, PubMed Central 637, and 5 articles from cross-references, however. The PRISMA framework was used to structure the selection, and 21 studies from different fields and settings met the inclusion criteria. The most frequently cited factors that impede access to and utilisation of needed healthcare services were sociocultural considerations such as stigma and discrimination, health system anomalies that led to mistrust of healthcare services and workers by refugee populations, and financial difficulties. In order to overcome these obstacles, the government and humanitarian organisations ought to carry out a comprehensive screening with leaders of refugee communities and local refugee organisations in order to comprehend the conditions of refugees. They ought to pay particular attention to the differences between the various cultures and settings, as well as the flow of the healthcare system, in order to sensitise people and raise awareness about the healthcare system. To make it easier for refugees to access and use the necessary healthcare services, specific health policies should be implemented. When looking for healthcare, equal rights and freedom of movement should be top priorities


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1 March, 2023
How to Cite
Bacigale, R., Murhula, A., Kayembe, P., Mbiso, J., & Mutabesha, M. (2023). A Systematic Review of the Healthcare Access and Utilization Barriers Faced by Refugees in Uganda. East African Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 6(1), 84-99. https://doi.org/10.37284/eajis.6.1.1115