Family Health in Uganda: Project Achieves Demonstrated Impact
STRIDES for Family Health is wrapping up six years of work in Uganda with “impressive” results in reducing malnutrition and expanding access to and improving the quality of integrated reproductive health, family planning, and child survival services.
Achievements between 2009 and 2015 included:
- reaching 614,338 children under the age of five through nutrition programs, achieving average cure rates for moderate malnutrition of 80 percent in some districts;
- reaching 921,112 new family planning users and serving 720,674 returning clients;
- providing contraception that helped women avoid 190,566 unintended pregnancies;
- strengthening 400 public and 188 private health facilities and 1,047 community medicine shops or outlets;
- training 5,817 members of village health teams (VHTs), resulting in expanded access to and demand for reproductive health, family planning, and child health services.
“USAID has no doubt that STRIDES project has demonstrated impact with thousands of vulnerable people reached in the target districts, including hard-to-reach areas like Kalangala,” said Leslie Reed, USAID Mission Director. “The results are impressive, reflecting value for investments made. USAID is proud of the work of this project.”
Reed was speaking at the end-of-project conference held in Kampala last week. Other guests included members of parliament, the Ministry of Health (MOH), and VHTs, as well as partners from districts, development agencies, and the private sector.
VHTs, who work as volunteers, were critical to the success of many of the project’s interventions, including the Positive Deviance/Hearth nutrition program. VHTs helped teach community members about feeding their children locally available nutritious foods. The effort is sustainable because the behavior is passed on by the positive deviant caregivers and VHTs. STRIDES trained more than 3,000 people in child health and nutrition.
“I now know about the different food classes and how to administer a balanced diet with locally sourced foods,” said VHT Rebecca Nakirimira of Kamuli district. “I am now able to help other mothers in the community to provide these foods to their families. I would like to thank STRIDES for opening our eyes through training and mentorship that has enabled us to provide health services to our communities.”
Dr. Celia Kakande, STRIDES Chief of Party and MSH Country Director, noted the impact that the project had, and she awarded the districts, STRIDES partners, and 30 performance-based contractors (PBCs) for their collaboration. The PBC program reached 1.7 million men, women, young people, and children. Almost 40 percent of these clients received family planning services and about 35 percent were children who received essential health services.
Building the capacity of the districts was an important component of assuring sustainability of STRIDES’ interventions. Dr. Kakande awarded Mpigi and Kayunga districts for 100-percent health management information system reporting for the past year. Data management is important for monitoring health progress and planning future interventions.
Along with the MOH, districts, and private sector partners, MSH implemented STRIDES with Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU), Jhpiego, and Meridian Group International.
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