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Uganda’s ID scheme excludes nearly a third from healthcare, says report

Up to a third of adults in Uganda have been excluded from vital healthcare and social services because they do not have national ID cards, according to a report.

Women and elderly people have been particularly affected by the introduction of the digital identity cards , which are required to access government and private sector healthcare, to claim social benefits, to vote and to open bank accounts or buy sim cards.

Many services that require IDs are funded by donors, including the UK and Ireland, which finance grants for older people, and the World Bank, which supports birth registrations.

The report , published by three human rights organisations, estimates that between 23% and 33% of Uganda’s adult population do not have ID cards, which were introduced by the National Identification and Registration Authority (Nira) in 2015.

Many of the cards issued include errors, said the report. Correcting mistakes or replacing lost or stolen cards costs at least 50,000 Ugandan shillings (£10). More than 40% of Uganda’s population live on less than £1.30 a day.

One of the nurses interviewed said ID cards should not prevent access to healthcare, which was “a matter of life and death”.The report called on the government to stop requiring […]

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