Namisindwa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Village Health Teams (VHTs) in Namisindwa district are up in arms over non payment of their allowances for the polio and measles-rubella immunization exercise.
According to the VHTs, they supported the two vaccination campaigns in October 2022 and they were entitled to Shillings 60,000 per campaign. They were supposed to get their pay by December 2022.
Yokana Nandelege, a VHT in Woshibi village, Buganti sub county says that the district promised to clear the money after one week of the vaccination exercise. “It’s now coming to close to half a year but no sign of payment,” he said.
Aidah Bulali, another VHT from Lusera village in Namisindwa says that there is no clear information on when they will be given their money. “No health official from the district or sub-county is ready to explain to us what is happening,” he said.
Alex Gimongo, a VTH from Bushibuta village says that it is not the first time the district is not paying for vaccination related activities. He explains that the VHTs also missed their pay for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Wokooli Stephen, the Chairperson LC3 Bungati sub-county says that several VTHs in his sub-county have complained to his office about the non-payment. “It’s now a concern and I have contacted the district health officer to see how he can sort the issue. These VHTs are very fundamental in promoting health services at the village level,” he told URN on the phone.
Emma Bwayo, the Namisindwa district male youth councilor reveals that the last council siting conducted in December tasked the health department to handle concerns of VHTs and LCs with urgency.
Stephen Masai, the Namisindwa District Health Officer confirmed that the Village Health Teams haven’t yet received their facilitation, saying that they are processing payment. “By the beginning of next week, they will be receiving their facilitation,” he said.
VHTs were established by the Ministry of Health to empower communities to take part in the decisions that affect their health and strengthen the delivery of health services at household level.