Monday 6th February, 2023, marked the launch of a series of Community Health Week activities in Kawempe Division-Kampala district. The day saw different players in the health sector coming together to showcase the health-based interventions they are carrying out in the area. This event was organized by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). Stakeholders who participated in this event included Child and Family Uganda (CFU), FHI360, AMREF, Healthy Entrepreneurs, Living Goods, Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), Youth Alive Uganda and other USAID local partners. The Minister of Health was represented by the Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Henry Mwebesa who was impressed by the way mothers in the CFU care groups were getting involved in activities like the making of liquid soap to generate income and look after their children. Free services offered Stakeholders were able to offer free services to the communities.Free services which were provided with support from CFU included, nutrition assessment, nutrition education and counselling, gender-based violence screening services, HIV testing and counselling, immunization of under-fives and COVID 19 testing services, explained Israel Jjombwe, a nutritionist on the integrated community MCHN (Maternal Child Health and Nutrition) Project. Other services offered during the health week included family planning, blood pressure and glucose assessment, TB screening, Antenatal Care and Post Natal Care services, safe male circumcision, rehabilitation services, malaria, diarrhoea, and flu treatments among others. These free services were offered to the four disadvantaged communities of Katoogo, Bokasa, Kimwanyi and Soweto at three different sites, all located in Kawempe division. Mobilization of participants was done by CFU with the support of several stakeholders, key of whom were the Village Health Teams (VHTs) and Red Cross partners. Photo above shows Dr.Henry Mwebesa (3rd Right) at a CFU Care Group which has mothers of children with Celebral Palsy. A Lead Mother (holding a poster) was explaining that the mothers are involved in income-generating activities like making liquid soap in order to look after their children, and how they have learnt to make nutritious foods for these children. Nutrition Services The Maternal, Children and Health Nutrition (MCHN) intervention, is one of the projects at CFU. Funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the project used the Community Health Week to offer nutritional information to members of the public. Through the MCHN project, CFU is supporting the improvement of facility-based community approaches to deliver quality maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition services in Kampala. MCHN project staff focused on educating the public about the nutrient value of each food and how it can be supplemented with other foods. At each of these sites, a food demonstration area was organized by MCHN staff to demonstrate the different food categories and the importance of a balanced diet. Specifically, the public was educated on how to prepare nutritious diets for under-fives' and People Living With HIV/Aids (PLWAs). The food demonstration targeted caregivers of these children, pregnant and lactating mothers. Speaking about the activities of this week, the Executive Director of CFU, Dr. Harriet Babikako Mupere, explained that the health week is an opportunity for CFU and the community to showcase the different services the . It is also an opportunity for the Ministry of Health to see firsthand the plight of our people, as well as an opportunity to collaborate with the so many partners that are working in Kawempe. This partnership can help us to leverage on each other's strength as we work with the disadvantaged communities within Kawempe Division, she added. The Ministry of Health officials, together with several donors were able to walk door-to-door, in each of these communities. Photo above shows a health worker measuring the circumference of the upper arm of a participant in the Community Health Week to determine her nutrition needs. One of the community groups visited is a mothers' group under CFU that is based in Bokasa. These mothers have children with celebral palsy. The mothers commended CFU for teaching them how to prepare diets for their vulnerable children. We have also learned several money-generating skills like making liquid soap, to enable us take care of our children, a lead mother at this site explained. The Ministry of Health officials who were at Bokasa and led by the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, were impressed by the resilience of these mothers. CFU's mission CFU undertakes these activities guided by its mission; Excellence in providing innovative interventions, services, capacity building, research and advocacy to end disease, illiteracy and poverty in vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. The integrated community MCHN project is funded by FHI360 and it is being implemented in partnership with the KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority). Photo above shows health workers that provided nutrition services to community members that came for the Community Health Week.
Updated on 4/12/2022