The government has finally decided to pay village health workers also known as village health teams a monthly salary of UGX100,000.
A 2017 report put the total number of VHTs in 111 districts across Uganda at 179,000. This means the government will spend more than UGX17bn per month to cater for the remuneration of this critical human resource.
The sudden change of tact is thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, VHTs were considered total volunteers who would simply be given a token of UGX20,000 per month mostly for helping government distribute government drugs targeting children under 5 years.
The VHTs will now be in charge of ensuring that they sensitize masses in their areas of jurisdiction, about stopping COVID-19 pandemic.
Uganda’s Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda this week launched activities aimed at developing and implementing the National Community Engagement Strategy (CES) to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CES is aimed at deepening adherence to the government COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures at community level.
The strategy seeks to ensure that all Ugandans are aware, empowered and participate in the prevention and control of Covid -19, both as a duty and a right, using existing structures, systems and resources as deemed necessary.
At the launch event held at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Rugunda commended the UPDF for its role in fighting the COVID 19 Pandemic. He recognized UPDF efforts in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CES is mostly steered by the UPDF.
And the Chairman Technical Inter- Sectorial Committee Maj Gen Geoffrey Muheesi said:
“As we prepare to roll out timely and critical strategies, the fight against COVID -19 rages on because we do not yet have a vaccine or cure in this current circumstance. The vanguard of enforcement will be the village COVID-19 task forces (VCTFs) hitherto commonly known as Village Health Teams (VHTs).
Each VTF will comprise a committed full time paid community health worker who will superintend over its activities,” Maj. Gen. Muheesi explained.
Professor Francis Omaswa, the Chairman of the CES Sub-Committee applauded all security forces for remaining servants to the people. He explained the tremendous achievements in the past months while fighting this pandemic and supporting disaster victims.
Rugunda attributed Uganda’s success in containing COVID-19 to the hardwork of the UPDF.
“Without peace and stability, COVID -19 would have found a fertile ground in Uganda to thrive. The current successes against the disease cannot be taken for granted and I therefore take this opportunity to thank the entire UPDF fraternity for working along with other partners to contain the global pandemic,” Rugunda said.
Rugunda also hailed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his foresight and visionary leadership in navigating the country through this global threat.