Friday, June 8, 2012

Kicking Off UVP's 4th Healthy Villages Program!

By Caroline Nyuguto with contribution from Anthony Bui 

This week marks the start of the fourth year of the Uganda Village Project's Healthy Villages program in Iganga since conception in 2009. The Healthy Villages program is an innovative, grassroots approach to addressing rural healthcare and public health in Uganda. Its goal is to improve the provision of healthcare and of preventative health education to underserved populations across the rural Iganga District.

We partner with the District Health Office (DHO) of Iganga, the Sub-County officials, and the local Health Center staff to target villages that have been identified by the DHO due to primary health gaps and needs.

This year our staff chose five villages that were identified in tandem with the health assistants and various district officials. We held meetings in each of these villages and  received community member support to improve the health status of their own communities. As a result of these successful meetings, this month we will be launching five new programs in Kazigo A & B, Kidaago A & B and Namunkesu villages.

To show and seal the partnership, the Local Council level-1 chairperson signed a memorandum of understanding with us on behalf of the community. Women and men in the communities celebrated with ululations and applause to show excitement for the upcoming summer.

With the addition of five new villages, we also look forward to the 42 interns who are joining us this summer -- our team leaders have safely arrived to Iganga, and several team members are arriving in Entebbe even today. In preparation for them, our staff have been working tirelessly to to prepare for the internship for the last 9 months. In the past few weeks, we have checked on the interns' new houses so that they are free of rodents, bugs, and bats, and instead, stocked full of stoves, mattresses, cutlery, and crockery.

The mood in the office is that of excitement -- the internship program is an intensive, yet rewarding, program that we undergo each year.

We look forward to having the interns around as they assist and engage in various activities for UVP, improving the health and economic development of community members, promoting public health in the villages of Iganga.

Caroline Nyuguto is the Assistant In-Country Director in Iganga; Anthony Bui is UVP's Marketing & Communications Officer

No comments: