Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health spent 2.9 Billion Shillings to procure 10,000 megaphones to be used by Village Health Teams (VHTs) in spreading COVID-19 related messages.
Dr Richard Kabanda, the Commissioner in charge of Health Promotion and Education told Uganda Radio Network this afternoon that already some 53 districts have received their batches with one distributed at the parish and one at the sub-county headquarters.
Kabanda says they realized they needed to engage communities more especially that they have now approved home-based care for positive cases following an increase in COVID-19 community cases.
For most of the activities in the community, Kabanda says they will be relying on VHTs, a reason as to why a proposal is being reviewed to have these volunteers paid a salary of 100,000 Shillings. He says that by end of next week, all the districts will have received their megaphones.
However, while the government is planning a salary for these teams who have been largely involved in the prevention interventions such as encouraging people to go for immunization, promoting contraceptive and mosquito net use, sections are now pushing to have them given a risk allowance since they are also involved in COVID-19 related activities such as coordinating referrals of positive cases that become severe from the community.
During a two-day risk communication training for health workers and educators that ended this evening, Susan Sembajwe, a VHT from Luweero said just as doctors working in treatment centres are earning a daily allowance, they too work under risky circumstances since they don’t even have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The front line health workers earn a daily allowance of 70,000 Shillings and Kabanda says there’s no way the government cannot afford that or less for a VHT.