ToroDev participated in a two days work shop (17th -18th March 2014) about the Integrated Communication Platform Campaign that was organized by the Ministry of Health in partnership with Communication for Healthy Communities to highlight the role of the use of appropriate ICT tools like FM radio stations to improve health service delivery. ToroDev was represented by Kogere Recheal who is the Research and documentation officer.
Kogere appealed to the technical staff in the health sector in different districts to always participate in radio accountability programs rather than leaving them for politicians. “ToroDev holds two radio talk shows on HITS FM and Better FM radios that involve rural youths and women, civil society, local and central government leaders, technocrats, among others on accountability and service delivery for improved advocacy. However, technical staff never make use of the plat forms, even when they are invited, they fail to turn up. I therefore, appeal to public health providers to make use of these plat forms so as to enhance accountability through communication for better health service delivery”.
The workshop was aimed at introducing the integrated campaign platform that will help to implement existing health communication strategies, validate national level platforms with local/regional insights and perspectives and enlisting of the champions per district/region, who will support implement the campaign platform. The project is a five year USAID project that will support the ministry to design nationwide communication interventions in the areas of HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutrition, maternal and child health, family planning and tuberculosis.
During the workshop, officials from ministry of health indicated the benefits of the platform. “Once the platform is implemented, it will help us to operationalise the existing strategies and policies, it will focus on the audience/local people instead of the diseases, enhance coordination and collaboration between service providers and the implementers and link community structures through influencers/champions.” Said Lillian from the Ministry of Health.
Kabarole DHO adds, “The approach will provide a basis for looking beyond individuals to their social context, addressing gender and other social norms that prevent people from changing their behavior for the better. The approach will also provide a basis for integrating and packaging health issues and messages so they are relevant and motivating the local people.”
Participants from the different districts were also able to fully participate and advocate for improved health service delivery, “Uganda has good policies, but when it comes to implementing them, only 10% is done.” Said Kaziya from Kamwenge District. “The idea of forming the integrated platform will help us to improve livelihoods basing on the different life stages such as adolescents, youths, young couples, among others.” Said Fred from Kyegegwa District. “The introduction of the integrated campaign platform will help us in implementing the existing health communication strategies.” Said Annet from Kasese Disrict. “More sensitization should be done about the plat form through forming more workshops and community meetings at district and sub county level.” Said Bwambale from Kasese District.