Integration supervision and monitoring work to improve the quality of health services

Support supervision at Bughana Health Centre III in Namayingo district

Namukose Jaliat, (C) with staff of Bugana Health Centre III during a support supervision visit.

My name is Namukose Jaliat, and I serve as the district focal person for the Heroes for Gender Transformative Action programme. In my role as a senior Health educator, I’ve witnessed the impact of Heroes in Namayingo district. Initially, the Ministry Of Health highlighted concerning data, revealing high rates of SGBV and teenage pregnancies, particularly in sub-counties like Buhemba, Sigulu, Bugana, and Buyinja. Bugana HC III bore the brunt of this burden.

Heroes stepped in as the first program to address SGBV and adolescent health in our district. Their support also extends to school health initiatives. We are profoundly grateful for their assistance. One of the reasons for their success lies in their collaborative approach with the district. Namayingo benefits from strong leadership and supportive stakeholders in the health sector. Heroes stands out for their proactive approach, delving into the root causes of issues rather than merely speculating.

Their emphasis on gender transformative action is commendable, particularly through peer education. This approach empowers youth, exemplified by initiatives like the Namayingo Youth Forum (NYF), which we aim to formalize as a Community-Based Organization (CBO). This not only ensures project continuity but also fosters sustainability within our district.

Some of the members of the Namayingo Youth Forum, a youth group which is a by product of the Heroes programme.

The Heroes program has been instrumental in empowering adolescents, providing them with smartphones and essential technical skills. This has enabled us to utilize their expertise for tasks like data entry, eliminating the need for additional recruitment. Additionally, the program has expanded opportunities for exposure, taking adolescents to places like Mbale, Kampala, and Jinja, where they can learn and exchange valuable experiences.

Moreover, the program has improved the reporting system by engaging peers to gather information from communities and facilitate its transfer to health facilities when necessary. This has not only increased awareness but also made it easier for individuals to report cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) through the toll-free number provided. Overall, the Heroes program has significantly contributed to enhancing the well-being of adolescents and addressing critical issues like SGBV.

A Y Hero walking to a health facility with a young person to ensure service provision.

Thanks to Heroes, our MCH indicators are on the rise. For instance, early ANC attendance was low initially, but thanks to the peers’ efforts, we’re seeing an upward trend. In 3 or 4 years, the importance of early ANC will be widely recognized.

In our district, we’re aiming to establish Bugana HC III as a youth-friendly facility, with the hope of expanding such services to other facilities eventually. Bugana HC III serves a large population from various sub-counties.

Expanding Heroes’ operations district-wide is crucial for improving service delivery. While the peers’ work is inclusive, extending services to all areas is necessary.

Currently, the advisory center is limited to one sub-county, making referrals to other areas challenging. If this service could cover at least three sub-counties, it would positively impact SGBV indicators.

I’m grateful to the donors and partners in the Heroes consortium for their support and collaborative efforts. Their gender-transformative actions have fostered a strong relationship with our district leadership. We appreciate their transparency and involvement in our activities. Thank you for selecting Namayingo District for support, and we hope for continued collaboration for the betterment of our communities.