KAMPALA – Invest and empower communities with information, be cognizant of the various cultures at hand while trying to change their mindset and work with the community health workers, the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng calls.
The minister was addressing the 1st National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention conference that ran from 6-7 November 2019, under the theme “Investing in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to achieve Universal Health Coverage.”
“There needs to be an end to volunteerism. We need to motivate our Community Health Workers” Dr Aceng added.
The conference attracted participants from neighboring countries, districts, academia and communities to share best practices and lessons learnt in implementing health promotion and education activities.
Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwine called for “realignment of communities like it was before when we had people moving to households in our villages and doing health checks; to ensure clean toilets, clearing stagnant water, immunisation, sanitation.”
Delegates later highlighted priorities for action and implementation of the following;
1. Develop a health promotion policy, OR revise the National Health Policy to ensure that health promotion and disease prevention aspects are well captured.
2. Mainstream health promotion and disease prevention to all aspects of health and other sectors, through the establishment of and/or strengthening of existing multi-sectoral governance structures across all levels (national to community).
3. Implement the National Community Health Acceleration Roadmap to elevate national and district priorities, create a common agenda for investment, the coronation of community health to strengthen and improve the community health system.
4. Develop an evidence-based costed, community health strategy, which prioritizes the investment and implementation of community-level high impact and evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention interventions, especially vulnerable and refugee populations.
5. Prioritize investment in urban health promotion and disease prevention interventions.
6. Prioritize the strengthening of the community health workforce, through increased investment in Primary Health Care funds for health promotion and disease prevention efforts, and support supervision.
7. Develop and revise health sector indicators that measure health promotion and disease prevention achievements.
8. Develop a stakeholders’ engagement plan for the promotion of health, and ensure that it is implemented. This should include establishing and strengthening public-private partnerships and strengthen partnerships with religious and cultural institutions to catalyze and improve ongoing health promotion and disease prevention efforts.
9. Advocate for Universities to strengthen Health Promotion and Disease Prevention components into various academic health-related programs.
10. Ensure the costing and implementation of the national health communication strategy.