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Brac health programme benefits 3 million Ugandans

By Jeff Andrew Lule

Added 19th December 2018 04:04 PM

Mono is among the 3.2 million Ugandans who have benefitted from BRAC’s CHPs strategy. The model is implemented through 4,084 trained CHPs offering preventive, curative and promotive health care services at the doorstep.

Brac health programme benefits 3 million Ugandans

Aminah Nabangi (left) and BRAC Country Representative Hasina Akhter(right) looks on as assistant commissioner health promotion and education, Ministry of Health Tabley Bakyayita addresses participants during the community health promoter appreciation ceremony at Royal suites hotel on December 13, 2018. Photo by Nancy Nanyonga

Mono is among the 3.2 million Ugandans who have benefitted from BRAC’s CHPs strategy. The model is implemented through 4,084 trained CHPs offering preventive, curative and promotive health care services at the doorstep.

HEALTH

KAMPALA - Christine Mono, from Kamwokya, nearly lost her child if it was not the intervention Florence Nantege a Community Health Promoter (CHPs).

"My child fell sick and I was stranded. Luckily, Nanteza happened to be moving around the homes and found me stranded. The temperature of the kid was high," she notes.

Mono says Nanteza got out a thermometer from her bag, measured the temperature, and used the rapid testing kit to diagnose the child to see whether it was malaria.

"She immediately took us to Naguru General Hospital and talked to the doctors who admitted us. She kept checking on us. Even after discharge; she continued coming home to monitor progress of the child and advised us on the best nutrition for the child. She also cares a lot about pregnant mothers to ensure they delivery safely," she adds.

Mono is among the 3.2 million Ugandans who have benefitted from BRAC's CHPs strategy. The model is implemented through 4,084 trained CHPs offering preventive, curative and promotive health care services at the doorstep.

Mono was speaking at the BRAC's fourth annual CHP appreciation ceremony at Royal Suites hotel, in Bugolobi last Thursday.

How CHPs work

BRAC's Health Programme Manager,  Dr Franco Ishallah says BRAC trains and equips the CHPs with necessary tools to help residents in accessing health services and on time.

He explains all CHPs are given essential medicines and other health products by BRAC at a very lost cost which they also sell at very low price in communities.

"This is aimed at promoting sustainability of the programme and improve the CHPs livelihood through earning little profits from the products they sell," Franco noted.

The health programme is implemented in 72 districts out of the total 87 covered by BRAC.

Support App

Franco explained that all CHPs were given smartphones with an application meant to make the assessment and treatment of children under five easy.

"They also used it to register all pregnant mothers and households in their community. They always go to check the registered children on whether they have malaria, pneumonia and or diarrhea," he explained.

The application is designed in a chronological way and asks specific question on any disease and based on the answer responses entered, it gives a diagnosis.

It was designed based on the framework of the Ministry of Health (MoH).

"It has helped CHPs in accuracy of treatment; and it eases reporting because once they enter data, we instantly access it online to monitor their work," he said.

Impact

According to a study by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) between October and December in 2013, on the impact the CHPs, it showed a 27% reduction in neonatal mortality, 33% reduction in infant mortality and 7% reduction in under-five stunting.

The study was carried together with Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Yale and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the instruction of  BRAC and Living Woods also implementing the same programme in other districts.

The study was done in 10 districts in 214 villages with in over 8,000 households.

The BRAC country director Uganda, Hasina Akhter, said they work in collaboration with the MoH and Local Governments in 72 districts.

She said they intend to scale up the programme in other districts to help poor communities' access better health care services.

The Assistant Commissioner for Health Education and Promotion MoH, Tabley Bakyaita said the CHPs programme has effectively supported the scaling up of Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM).

The strategy involves treatment and management of malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia.

"It is a holistic approach towards improving community health and development. It has improved the accessibility of health services at low cost a community level with a revolving fund for essential medicine," he added.

Bakyaita said the ministry is to strengthen the collaboration with BRAC to adopt the model in all districts.

The Palisa district health officer, Dr. Siraje Mulisa said through CHPs, the district has reduced the number of children dying of malaria. "Even our health information system shows that malaria has gone down from number one to the six," he said. Ends

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