The Ministry of Health has unveiled plans to prioritize motivational or compensation allowance of community health workers commonly known as Village Health Teams (VHTs) as the only way to improve the lower level indicators of health services across the country.
According to the Commissioner-Department of Community Health in the ministry of health, Dr Upenthyo George Dugum, the negotiations are still ongoing at the ministerial level such that there can be a structure that receives the VHTs monthly pay appropriated by the parliament.
Dr Upenthyo revealed that the ministry has embarked on bringing village health teams into the health space and train them with skills since the government is phasing out health Centre IIs in the country.
He noted that the ministry is digitizing all major hospitals to make them become paperless to improve data capturing, reporting and data utilization by both districts and ministry of health through health management information systems.
He made the revelation while witnessing the signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ntungamo District local government and a five consortium of implementing partners of Living goods, Brac, DataKind and Medic Mobile to support the ministry of health to assess bottlenecks in the delivery of community health interventions and use of digital health technologies to sustainably address bottlenecks.
The function was held at Ntungamo Resort Hotel in Ntungamo Municipality a few days ago.
Dr Upenthyo also handed over 300 smartphones for VHTs and 8 tabs for health assistants procured by the ministry with support from implementing partners funded by Rockefeller Foundation and administered by UNICEF.
Arinda Kenneth, programs officer at Brac Uganda noted that the consortium of five implementing partners led by Living goods, Brac, DataKind and Medic Mobile have secured 1.5m US dollars equivalent to UGX 5,281,342,500 Bn to run the project in the district of Ntungamo and Lamwo.
Arinda said that the project will take 8 months but the ministry and districts may take it up after their departure since the gadgets will remain with VHTs.
The Ntungamo District health educator who is also focal person for VHTs Twesigye Nesterio noted that signing of MOU with IPs will ease the work of VHTs under ICCM in the selected sub counties of Itojo, Rugarama, Rukoni West and town councils of Kitwe and Nyamunuuka out of 34 sub counties and town councils.
The acting DHO Katusiime Hope hailed the implementing partners for considering Ntungamo district to implement ICCM and will benefit two VHTs per village.
The assistant CAO Kiiza Federis acknowledged the work of VHTs in implementing sustainable development goal number 3.
Ntungamo district has at least 4,136 village health teams.
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