The inSCALE project has produced two new films to highlight the need for community based agents (CBAs) in Uganda – locally called Village Health Team (VHT) members - and the challenges they face as they provide village members with diagnostics and treatment for key childhood diseases.
The first of the two films shows the lack of access to health care for those living in many rural areas of Uganda and the consequent need for VHTs. The film focuses on the stories of mothers whose children have suffered from malaria or other infectious diseases such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, making the need for community health care clear and all the more urgent. 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.
The second film profiles CBAs working in Uganda. One 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 VHT members can play in increasing awareness.
The ultimate aim of the inSCALE project is to inform efforts to increase the coverage of government-led integrated community case management (ICCM) in Uganda and Mozambique. ICCM offers primary health care at the community level, through CBAs who receive the training and tools to diagnose and treat diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria in children under five years old, and to make referrals to a health facility where appropriate.
inSCALE is working to document challenges being faced in the roll out of an ICCM/CBA strategy by the Ugandan and Mozambican Ministry of Health and their implementing partners. Based on the findings, the project aims to identify, test and evaluate alternative innovative approaches to motivation and performance of these volunteer CBAs to support the effective scale up of ICCM.
Through these two new films, it is clear to see how vital community based agents really are and how bringing healthcare to the community can make a huge difference to the lives of many children.
Click here to watch the films.