Challenges faced by village health teams in promoting water sanitation and hygiene standards in Wamala Parish, Wakiso District
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Introduction The Uganda Health Sector Strategic Plan 1 in 2001 recommended the establishment of Village Health Teams (VHTs) to bridge the gap and improve equity in access to health services. The Ministry of Health together with Wakiso District Local Government trained 2,880 VHTs in all the villages of Wakiso district. Globally, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old with 1.7 billion cases and killing around 525,000 children every year. WASH interventions aim to prevent and control transmission routes of bacteria, viruses and parasites to new human hosts. Study objective The main objective of this study is to identify the challenges faced by Village Health teams in promoting WASH standards in Wamala Parish, Wakiso district so as to provide information for planning and implementation of WASH activities. Methodology A cross sectional study which involved the use of both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was carried out involving 15 VHTs in Wamala Parish. Results The roles of VHTs of Wamala Parish are health education (100%), disease prevention (87%), home visits (93%), referrals (87%) and community mobilization (87%). The understanding of WASH was; general cleanliness (60%), clean and safe water (33%), personal health (27%) and disease free (13%). The activities under taken to address WASH in Wamala parish include; mobilization (93%), sensitization/health education (93%), home visits (93%) and training people on WASH among others. The challenges affecting VHTs were; no payment (67%), limited time (33%), shortage of drugs (27%) and sunshine (13%). The logistics available for the implementation of WASH activities were; IEC materials (87%), mega phone (13%) and bags (1, 7%). VHTs of Wamala Parish are motivated by; appreciation (27%), allowance (20%) and love (20%). Recommendations The government should have a clear commitment to finance VHT activities in the community; and provide VHT working equipment like umbrellas and bicycles.