During the second annual World Health Worker Week, April 7-11, 2014, we are celebrating the women and men who save lives. Sarah Dwyer, from K4Health partner IntraHealth International, recently wrote this post for the Frontline Health Workers Coalition about a group of health workers in Uganda who, after taking a six-month leadership and management course, advocated for better infrastructure, new management systems, and even continuing medical education.
Uganda strengthens health service delivery by focusing on the people who provide quality care
Agnes Masagawyi provides integrated HIV and family planning counseling to a client in Mbale, Uganda.
Courtesy Carol Bales, CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International
“What inspires me is when I see patients critically ill and then recovering, laughing, smiling—I feel great,” says Agnes Masagwayi, a senior clinical health officer in Mbale District, Uganda. “I love my job with all my heart.”
But her health facility, she admits, was in “a bad state.” Running water was sporadic. Essential drugs ran out. Space for maternity care was so limited that many women delivered babies on the floor. Infection control was poor. And there weren’t nearly enough health workers to meet the demand.
In Mbale District only 337 of 708 health worker positions were staffed. Throughout the country, all districts faced similar shortages.