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Govt launches village health teams

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th July 2010 03:00 AM

THE Government has launched village health teams and the new Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) programme aimed at providing households with health services.

THE Government has launched village health teams and the new Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) programme aimed at providing households with health services.

By Anne Mugisa
and Justine Nakitende

THE Government has launched village health teams and the new Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) programme aimed at providing households with health services.

A village health team (VHT) comprises four to five people selected in a popular vote from a village. Each member would be in charge of 25 to 30 households.

They are expected to visit homes, mobilise communities to utilise health services, promote health education and community-based management of common diseases.

They are also expected to advise mothers during pregnancy and after birth and follow up patients who have been discharged and those undergoing long-term treatment.

The teams are also in charge of distributing health kits and disease surveillance.

The ICCM is intended to treat the child killer diseases at the grassroots through the village health teams.

This, according to President Yoweri Museveni, is aimed at saving the lives of at least 50,000 Ugandan children below five years, who die every year due to the preventable killer diseases.

The programmes were launched on Friday by the vice-president, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, who represented President Yoweri Museveni at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

The President said more than 60% of all under five deaths in Uganda are due to malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. These diseases, coupled with malnutrition, account for 90% of the child patients.

Elise Ayers from USAID commended the Government, the health ministry and the local government for the programmes, saying they will improve the health of Ugandans by offering basic health services.

She said over 180,000 children die before their fifth birthday every year, adding that 6,000 women die each year in Uganda from pregnancy-related causes and nearly 40,000 survive with chronic and weak health conditions.

Ayers noted that several factors affect basic health service delivery. They include basic infrastructure, gaps in human resources, under funding of the health sector and the high fertility rate that results in high population growth.

“There is need for a different approach to addressing childhood morbidity and mortality. Using VHTs to promote treatment is a new and viable approach to improving the lives of children in Uganda,” he said.

Ayers commended the Government for introducing the system of delivering drugs directly to the health units at the grassroots.

Govt launches village health teams

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