Only 30% Village Health Teams Trained - Survey

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In short
Only 30 percent of Village Health Teams-VHTs members are trained to manage patients in communities. Uganda adopted the VHT strategy in 2001 as a bridge in health service delivery between community and health facilities. Prof. Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, notes that the training gap has been caused by lack of funding.

Only 30 percent of  Village Health Teams-VHTs members are trained to manage patients in communities. 

This is according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health aimed at understanding how effective VHTs are at managing their communities. Uganda has 180,000 VHTs members but only 60,000 of these have acquired training.

Uganda adopted the VHT strategy in 2001 as a bridge in health service delivery between community and health facilities. But according to the survey, only a few were trained to effectively monitor and manage patients.

Their work includes community mobilisation for public health campaigns such as immunisation and family planning, nutrition and home visits.

Prof. Anthony Mbonye, the Director General Health Services, notes that the training gap has been caused by lack of funding. He notes that the development partners have trained some of the VHTs in districts where they operate.

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Jova Kamateeka, the Woman Member of Parliament for Mitooma district, says it is unfortunate that VHT members are untrained. She notes that the government should borrow
money to train them.

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Dr. Joachim Osur, the Amref Health Africa Director, says that governments have been reluctant to invest in VHTs. He notes that governments are trying several policies without really funding them.

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But according to Prof. Mbonye, the health ministry has drafted a new policy that is aimed at reducing the number of VHTs and emphasising their training.

 

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).