Uganda Radio Distance Learning
Village Health Teams (VHTs) were established by the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) to: empower communities to take part in the decisions that affect their health; mobilize communities for health programs; and strengthen the delivery of health services at the household level. Village Health Teams are made up of volunteers who are selected by their communities to provide accurate health information and link community members with available health services. After selection, VHTs receive basic training in a cross section of key health issues common in Uganda.
The biggest challenge facing the MoH’s VHT program is the cost of providing refresher training for the thousands of VHTs across the country. In 2010, the Health Communication Partnership assisted the MoH to develop The VHT Radio Distance Learning (RDL) program, which provides training through weekly half-hour radio programmes supplemented by workbooks and handbooks for the VHTs who listen. VHTs who enroll in the programme may form discussion groups and work on assignments in their workbooks together, or may listen to the programmes and do the exercises individually in their own homes. Those who complete the course receive a certificate of completion. Watch a video about the RDL programme.
Initially, the MoH piloted the VHT RDL programme in two districts, and evaluated it in one. Results of the evaluation showed that the programme improves knowledge and attitudes of VHTs who participate. Subsequently, District Health Teams and civil society organisations in a number of other districts implemented the RDL programme. As the HCP project drew to an end, World Vision agreed to continue where HCP left off and is continuing to assist the MoH to expand and implement the programme.