More than 2400 Village Health Team Volunteers in Luweero have petitioned the state minister for health to consider paying them a salary for their services.
More than 2400 Village Health Team Volunteers in Luweero have petitioned the state minister for health to consider paying them a salary for their services. The Village health Teams (VHTs) were trained by Ministry of Health and Non Governmental Organizations to supplement efforts of the few available health workers. They are meant to help in identifying, counseling, and giving treatment to malaria, Pneumonia and diarrhea patients among other diseases.
However, since they were recruited the Volunteers have never received any form of allowances forcing them to petition to the state minister for health-general duties Doctor Richard Nduhura to intervene in their behalf. Haruna Mugabe a VHT in Luweero Sub County defends their demand for a salary saying that they move long distances to monitor and offer treatment to patients. He argues that since they do most of the work that should be executed by paid health workers they should also be considered.
Mugabe says that the salary will help them meet their transport and lunch allowances during the execution of their duties. Robinah Kiwanuka, another VHT in charge of Luweero Town council says that they spend a lot of time administering primary drugs to patients and lose valuable time to fend for them families. She explains that on several occasions they use their funds to submit the monthly reports from the villages to their respective sub county headquarters which is costly.
Kiwanuka says that they are pushing the ministry of health to consider paying them at least shillings 100,000 each month to enable them execute their work. Dr. Richard Nduhura, the state minister for health-general duties says that despite the fact that volunteers were recruited to offer service voluntarily; the ministry has noted the hardships they experience to offer health services to the community.
Nduhura says that government has procured 1200 bicycles with the help of the Global funds and distributed them to VHT officials across the country to ease their transport. He explains that currently government lacks the funds to pay the VHTs but will consider their request in the next financial year. Last month, over 30 HIV/AIDS community volunteers in Luweero threatened to abandon their work accusing government of failing to pay them their transport and lunch allowances.
village health teams volunteers
state minister of health-general duties
non govermental organisation