ICCM - Reaching Sick Children in the Community
This film highlights the lack of access to health care for those living in many rural areas of Uganda and the consequent need for community health workers (CHWs). The voices are those of mothers whose children have suffered from malaria and other infectious diseases and their anxieties and loss cast the high rates of under five mortality into stark relief.
The film shows how mothers recognise and respond to symptoms, seeking care from traditional herbalists as well as visiting private drug sellers when traditional methods fail.
In many rural areas the health facilities are simply too far away, which results in delayed care seeking, here illustrated by the severity of a child’s suffering from malaria which could have been reduced had the family been able to reach the facility earlier.
Experts talk about the problems and how these could be addressed through integrated community case management (ICCM) through the use of community based agents (CHWs) – in Uganda called Village Health Team members. Well-trained VHT members can bring the appropriate diagnostic tools and treatment to the village for the three main child killers- diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria - and bridge the care gap that currently exists.
It is the mothers’ stories in the film that show just how necessary community based treatment really is.
Village Health Teams - Bringing Healthcare to the Communities
This film profiles the community based agents (CBAs) in Uganda, locally called Village Health Team members. It aims to show the challenges they face as they try to provide villages with access to diagnostics and treatment for main childhood illnesses and the processes they follow when diagnosing and treating children in the community.
In the film a CBA talks about his role but also why it’s difficult for community members to keep up good health practices. This highlights the importance of health education and promotion and the role community health workers can play in increasing awareness.
The Ministry of Health in Uganda is driving the roll out of the Village Health Team (VHT) strategy but admits there are challenges, especially around providing incentives and maintaining high levels of motivation among the VHT members.
inSCALE is aiming to document challenges and identify alternative approaches; building on CBA identity and supportive supervision to sustain motivation.