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

My name is Namukose Jaliat. I am the district focal person for the Heroes for Gender Transformative Action programme. At the district I work as a senior Health educator. Heroes came to Namyingo because of the data presented by Ministry Of Health that we showed a big burden to the country towards several indicators. We had a higher burden of SGBV, teenage pregnancies and those sub-counties which were highlighted to contribute most according to the data from MOH, were Buhemba, Sigulu, Bugana and Buyinja. Bugana HC III ranked highest burden in the district. With that background we thank Heroes for choosing Namayingo-Bugana sub-county as one of their areas of operation regarding support in health related activities.

Heroes is the first programme to support in the area of SGBV in the district. It is the first programme to support in adolescent health and it is the first programme to embrace school health within the district. We are very appreciative as the district.

Heroes has worked well through the strong partnership that it has with the district. Namayingo is one of the districts which has strong leadership support with in Busoga region. The stakeholders here are very supportive in all health related programmes. What they have done differently is that they have hit the ground to understand where the beneficiary is coming from, what the problem is so that they get the root cause analysis other than sitting and just imagining what is happening.

We also appreciate Heroes for gender transformative action for their support in  relation to peer education. This has supported the youth to become self motivated. For example they came up with Namayingo Youth Forum (NYF) which we plan to register as a CBO. I also see this as a way that the project will continue. If they start being supported in terms of funds and other incentives, then that will be sustainability with in the district.

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

It has also helped to provide capacity building with in the adolescents. They have provided smart phones which none of these adolescents knew how to use prior. Right now if we need data entrants, we can use them because they have the technical know-how there would be no need to recruit if need arose. They have provided opportunities for exposure to these adolescents. Some of them did not even know where the district was but through different implementation activities they are taken to Mbale, Kampala, Jinja. Through this, they get to learn and share practices that will better them as they continue to grow.

Also, previously there was no systematic way of reporting but through the peers we can get information from the community to the health facility and then to where the service may be acquired in case of need for further management. It has also created more awareness. Previously SGBV cases were there but people were afraid, others did not know where to report but through the peers who go down to the community, SGBV cases have increased not because they are happening but now people know exactly what to do. They know the toll free number and generally have an understanding of where to acquire the services they need and this is credited to the Heroes programme.

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

Through Heroes interventions, the MCH indicators have increased. For example there was low turn up for ANC in the first trimester but because of those peers, even though we are not yet there, the trend is going up. With in the 3 or 4 years people would have known that it is very important to go for early ANC to mitigate any risks.

As a district we are planning on making Bugana HC III a youth corner facility. We want to start here and see if we can extend those youth friendly services to other facilities as well in the long run. Bugana HC III is quite far and it catches a large population from other sub-counties.

We would wish that the Heroes programme extend their operational areas to the whole district because though the peers work does not segregate, we need these services to extend to the remaining areas so that we can improve in service delivery district wide.

Also, the advisory center is only at one point with in one sub county. Referring a mother from Bugana to Buhemba becomes a challenge. If this service can also be extended to at least 3 sub-counties in different directions of the district, I believe it will affect SGBV indicators positively.

I would like to thank the donors, partners in the Heroes consortium. The partnership we have is very cordial. I especially appreciate Heroes for gender transformative action for the strong relationship created with the district and its leadership because there is not a day that they have implemented an activity without our knowledge. Whenever they are here, all offices are aware. Thank you for choosing Namayingo as one of the districts to support and we pray that this continues for the good of our communities.