Local government officials can present over 25 performance indicators below following the use of USAID funds:
1) focus on the poor; 2) improve engagement of the private-for-profit sector; 3) enhance efficiency; 4) strengthen stakeholder coordination; 5) improve service quality; 6) stimulate consumer-based advocacy for better health; 7) programming in maternal; 8) newborn and child health; 9) immunization; 10) family planning and reproductive health; 11) nutrition; 12) health systems strengthening; 13) water/sanitation/hygiene; 14) malaria; breaking cycle of transmission of HIV; 15) pediatric HIV care and treatment; 16) increase in numbers of women attending at least one antenatal care visit with a health care provider; 17) Opportunities for women to deliver their babies with a skilled attendant present will increase; 18) planning meetings on targeted health themes; 19) identify key persons to contact as far as HIV/AIDS, Adolescent girls and Young Women issues go; 20) develop a community health information management system with vital statistics, targets for treatment, prevention and anti-discrimination; 21) lists of partnerships such as schools, villages, faith-based organizations and traditional healers involved in promoting health; 22) existence of strategic plans at different levels of governance reflecting needs of communities; 23) realizable PEPFAR engagement and an expanded capacity to use Ambassador’s Small Grant Program for advocacy, community mobilization; 24) generating disaggregated statistics giving insight into population demographics and; 25) lists or action plans by Village Health Teams.
|A PRIMARY SCHOOL IN A RURAL PART IN UGANDA. DOES THE GIRL CHILD HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO WASH HER HANDS AFTER USING THE WASHROOM? DOES SHE GET A FAIR CHANGE OF SANITARY PADS?|
Local governments in Uganda can design systems that promote the health and life of adolescent girls and young women (5-24 years). A mental, sexual and reproductive health plan targeting adolescent girls and young women, can be effective if it is integrated with other activities. At a three percent (3%) population growth by 2025, a young population and a high total fertility rate, Uganda’s high population rate will continue to drive health expenditures upwards. Local Governments in Uganda are entities that can mobilize for action through planning and partnerships. This is captured in the Health Sub-District concept bringing essential health services-especially basic surgical and obstetric care closer to the communities. The attendant staffing, infrastructure, equipment and operating costs become resources for promotion of health. A comprehensive WHO review of Uganda’s Health System conducted in 2011, found that whereas significant efforts are being implemented to qualitatively and quantitatively improve health in Uganda, more needs to be done to a) focus on the poor; b) improve engagement of the private-for-profit sector; c) enhance efficiency; d) strengthen stakeholder coordination; e) improve service quality; and f) stimulate consumer-based advocacy for better health. At local government level there are opportunities to conduct local health assessment and devise community health improvement plans. These local government entities are in a better position to tap into, say, the USAID funding if a focus on quality of care, service integration, and equity are to become a reality. The generated mechanisms and resources at an initial phase may be costly but these costs are reimbursed under the inbuilt cost of doing the U.S. government’s PEPFAR Business (CODB). The critical fiscal space thus created is an opportunity to increase government expenditure on health. This will in turn create a standardized service delivery across all local government regions. Uganda has a Maternal mortality ratio of 435/100,000 live births. By end of 2015, Uganda needs to reduce that figure to 131/100,000. Poor access to quality maternal care services, is a significant barrier to improving maternal mortality in Uganda. “HIV/AIDS, malaria and respiratory infections are the top three causes of overall disease burden in terms of Disability-Adjusted-Life-years (DALYs) lost,” (Fiscal Space For Health In Uganda).
|THIS SCHOOL IN A RURAL PART OF UGANDA IS A CO-EDUCATION FACILITY. WILL THE GIRL CHILD THINK ABOUT A SANITARY PAD OR HOW EARLY SHE HAS TO RISE FROM BED IN ORDER TO COMPETE FOR WHERE TO SIT IN THAT OVERCROWDED CLASSROOM?|
There are two documents I hope local government planners can use. One is the Country operational plan guidance document provided by USAID, with focus on eradicating HIV/AIDS. It is a comprehensive tool that local council members in Uganda can find useful as they try to utilize PEPFAR funds in a bid to align money in prevention investments. At the local government level, planned and costed investments are called votes, e.g., providing insecticide-treated mosquito nets to a given number of households. In a bottom-up planning, promoted by decentralization, it is possible to harmonize targets for treatment, prevention and anti-discrimination at Local Council I, II, III, IV, V, Town Council, Municipality, Division and district. There are two outcomes that come to mind. One, it will strengthen an existing local public system that ensures health promotion and prevention of diseases. Two, it will critical forces of change at community level with health promotion and prevention of diseases at the planning core.
The second document is the:The Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP). MCSP supports programming in maternal, newborn and child health, immunization, family planning and reproductive health, nutrition, health systems strengthening, water/sanitation/hygiene, malaria, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and pediatric HIV care and treatment. The Program places greater emphasis on key cross-cutting issues such as innovation, e/mHealth, equity, quality, gender, public-private partnerships, and involvement of civil society, community approaches and behavior change interventions. While maintaining focus on the technical high impact interventions, MCSP works toward sustainable scale up to include strengthening the health systems that deliver these interventions. (http://www.mcsprogram.org/). “It is at the heart of improving maternal-newborn health services globally: ensuring care is patient-focused; integrating programs to better serve the needs of mothers and babies; and extending innovative health services to the poorest and most socially vulnerable mothers and babies,” (Bliss, K. 2015). This USAID funding will help local governments mobilize for action through planning and partnerships where a woman in Uganda can seek appropriate counseling and maternal care services in any facility. There will be an increase in number of women attending at least one antenatal care visit with a health care provider. Opportunities for women to deliver their babies with a skilled attendant present will increase.
The health sector at the district and sub district level in Uganda is governed by a district health management team (DHMT). The DHMT is led by the District Health Officer (DHO) and consists of managers of various health departments in the district. The heads of health sub districts (HC IV managers) are included on the DHMT. The DHMT oversees implementation of health services in the district, ensuring coherence with national policies. A Health Unit Management Committee (HUMC) composed of health staff, civil society and community leaders is charged with linking health facility governance with community needs (http://gov.ug/ministry/ministry-health).
USAID funding into a local government budget plan will cause: 1) planning meetings on targeted health themes including national and district indicators (UBOS, 2010) 2) identify key persons to contact as far as HIV/AIDS, Adolescent girls and Young Women issues 3) develop a community health information management system with vital statistics, targets for treatment, prevention and anti-discrimination 4) lists of partnerships such as schools, villages, faith-based organizations and traditional healers involved in promoting health 5) existence of strategic plans at different levels of governance reflecting needs of communities 6) realizable PEPFAR engagement and an expanded capacity to use Ambassador’s Small Grant Program for advocacy, community mobilization 7) generating disaggregated statistics giving insight into population demographics and 8) lists or action plans by Village Health Teams as a continuum of response who bridge the gap and increase equity in access to health services ( http://www.pathfinder.org/). With the above it is more likely to have information on: voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), Test and treat, Viral load, TB/HIV, virology suppression, children health, pregnant women receiving B+, adults on life-saving anti-retro viral treatment, health needs of groups that are higher risk than total population, identified community resources that support the public health system in promoting health and improving quality of life. A list of themes would be developed, which in turn could be used to assess community health status and community themes.
Form a team amongst you and check with the US Embassy to see how your local government entity qualifies. A devolved institutionalized public health service is possible in Uganda. Turnock (2015) in “Essentials of Public Health” lists outcomes of deliberate community health improvement plans. I have chosen some points from the long list that I feel would be further outcomes of using USAID funds at a local government level. These are some of the further outcomes: 1) working with policy-makers, promote partnerships, educate, inform, develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts and plans 2) Social-community level activity plans 3) Social marketing and targeted media public 4) joint health education programs with schools, churches, Faith-based Organizations, cultural organizations and other entities 5) undertaking health improvement planning e.g., preventive screening, rehabilitation and support programs 6) building coalitions drawing from a wider range of potential human/material resources to improve community health.
1. Bliss Katherine (2015). http://www.smartglobalhealth.org/
2. Fiscal Space For Health in Uganda. World Bank Working Paper No. 186 Africa Human Development Series
3. Government of Uganda, Ministry of Health. http://gov.ug/ministry/ministry-health
4. National Village Health Teams (VHT) Assessment In Uganda. 2015. http://www.pathfinder.org/
5. Statistical Abstract. Ministry of Health. 2010. http://www.ubos.org/
6. Turnock, B. J. (2016). Essentials of public health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
7. USAID (2015). Country Operational Plan Guidance 2016 – Draft
8. USAID (2015). http://www.mcsprogram.org/our-work/