Ugandan citizen disease awareness and vigilance

Ugandan citizen disease awareness and vigilance

The president of Uganda launched a door-to-door disease prevention project in Sheema District, reported in the Daily Monitor of 28th of August, 2015, whose packaging included an Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) and a Constituency Health Task Force, to bring quality and effective treatment closer to home through Village Health Teams (VHTs). The president said: ‘the hospital should be the last option.’ The then Minister of Health, Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye, said ICCM was piloted in Kyangenyi Sub-county in Sheema, Kamwenge, Wakiso and Kayunga districts and that it had registered results.


Prevention is not only better than cure, it averts health rights violations too, I opine. Health equity is not just about access to health systems; it is also about equitable access to information about health care and equitable health systems. Hospitals are not hotels or places of luxury and thenceforth patients can avoid them by embracing this approach.


Deficiencies in the national health policy awareness, knowledge, risky behaviour and superstitions have increased the incidents of illnesses, diseases, deaths and poverty in Uganda (Wilson Okaka; 2009).  While Assessing Uganda’s public communications campaigns strategy for effective national health policy awareness, the researcher concluded thus: “ 


The country is yet to design and deliver a participatory public communication campaign approach which should raise awareness and ease communication barriers among the agencies, institutions, government departments, NGOs and CBOs involved in national public awareness campaigns and capacity-building efforts in the country.”


The Presidents launch in Sheema directly answers his findings and it does not hurt.  Although it’s good to note Village Health Teams (VHTs) are insufficiently facilitation for their work. Not to mention, that effects to expedite the law on the National Health insurance scheme collapsed. 


The world Health Organisation (2001) identified information, research and raising awareness among critical; areas for health collaboration.That pragmatic step should go ahead to mobilise citizens to participate in affairs for their own health, thus transcending from a medical worker health service based one. The strategy enjoins opinion leaders and politicians alike to carry out an oversight role. The absence of which has facilitated wastage of resources intended to improve health service delivery to benefit the most wretched of the earth.


We must recall that a lot of Government, citizen and donor resources are set aside to launch programmes geared to improving the health sector that have gone to waste owed to lack of supervision and sustainable funding. Citizens must own up to the task.


Citizen participation in all matters including their health is constitutional in article 17paragraph (d) that places a duty to protect and preserve public property. Many a time, public conscious persons calling themselves activists have to take it upon themselves to call for such spaces into budget allocations or monitoring and tracking value chains of public health goods and services.


Taking to holding placards, staging demonstrations, lobbying is a very tasking job. A forum like this comes not easily; let us make good of platforms akin to this.


I envisage community dialogues and social accountability platforms, constructive engagements with duty bearers and affronts for drawing attention to reach audiences that have answers.  

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