KAMPALA – Last week the Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi announced that as part of the government’s commitment to roll out the Community Engagement Strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Village Health Teams (VHTs) will for the first time receive a monthly payment, starting July.
Quarterly payments to the tune of UGX 300,000 for each VHT to cover July to September were released at the beginning of this month, targeting at least one VHT per village.
Ugx 150m was additionally earmarked for each district and city, and UGX 100 million for each municipality.
This was a directive of the President that the Ministry of Local Government provide the necessary support and facilitation to the Regional and District Task Forces to revitalize the Local Government Structures.
The Presidential directive stresses the importance of communities owning the response to COVID, especially to ensure prevention, early detection, and surveillance.
In his last address about the COVID pandemic, the President cited VHTs as a key group in supporting communities to access health services at the household level.
He later directed that they be facilitated so that they are able to support the village committees and help to improve primary health care through routine visits to homes and liaison with the health centre IIIs.
It is however currently not clear whether more money will be released to pay VHTs beyond September.
The Community Engagement Strategy was launched last year and approved by Cabinet as part of the National Strategy to fight Covid-19, with the overall goal of empowering communities to fight COVID and its negative social economic and health consequences in respective localities.