Friday, August 14, 2015

Buwoira: Working with Timothy

We recently had the chance to interview a Buwoira Village Health Team (VHT) member, Timothy. Timothy's work as a VHT focuses on HIV. We are so grateful for all of his help this summer in Buwoira; we would not have been able to accomplish so much without his steady presence, punctuality, and passion for improving health in his home village.

Timothy was born in Buwoira and has spent his whole life here, and has worked with many different non-governmental organizations over the years. In addition to being a VHT, Timothy is an engineer in the electricity field, a farmer who raises cattle, as well as a husband and father. Timothy has been a VHT for over 20 years, so when Titus introduced him to UVP, he was happy to be trained on UVP programs.

Timothy has experience with HIV, sanitation, malaria, and family planning, so it made sense for him to continue that work with UVP. Also, UVP helps make villagers more aware of the presence and expertise of VHTs. The VHTs in Buwoira have struggled with villagers not respecting their role, and UVP has helped with that. Timothy said he is excited to continue his work after the interns have gone.

Being involved with UVP has shown him the importance of sanitation and hygiene. In the past, there was not clean water for all villagers, but the addition of a shallow well has improved access to clean water. There was also low latrine coverage, but UVP sensitizations have helped increase coverage and reduce open defecation. Though Timothy’s current focus is HIV, his favorite topic is sanitation and hygiene and he especially likes encouraging villagers to build sanitation facilities to reduce the incidence of jiggers in homes. His least favorite part of being a VHT is that people can’t always differentiate good from bad. He does not like feeling like he has to force people to do things that they should be doing for their own benefit.

Thanks for all the help, Timothy!

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