Speaker of Parliament Anita Among has asked relevant government institutions to pay attention to the support offered by village health groups in improving access to health and other essential services.
Speaking during a meeting with village health team members and local council representatives from the five sub-counties of Bukedea District on Thursday, Ms Among said such groups have been key in extending health management services to local communities yet they continue to face funding shortages, which make their work difficult.
“You (village health teams) play a very important role of mobilising communities and bridging the gap between communities and health facilities,” she said, noting that for a long time members of village health teams have been known to offer voluntary service without pay, which “must change,” she said.
Ms Among pledged that she would coordinate with the Ministry of Health to ensure that members of village health teams receive a befitting allowance for the work they do in managing and extending health services to communities.
“I am going to make sure that I bring this matter to the attention of Parliament so that you are well remunerated to serve people better and achieve the national community health strategy,” she said, before encouraging members of such teams to get into agriculture, a move that she supported with hand hoes and gumboots with a promise to deliver bicycles later to help their movement.
Village health teams have over time been vital in increasing access and utilization of health services as well as helping government to monitor community health, which has reduced morbidity and mortality of children under five years.