The first cohort of the Uganda Leadership Pioneers began their journey in September last year and this weekend they handover to cohort two, as we welcome them to Uganda. It has been an incredible journey so far, and we look forward to seeing how the next group of participants can develop the progress made to date.
The September workshop saw Pepal take a district-led approach. Joined by their senior UK public sector counterparts, teams from Serere, Kumi, Bukedea and Ngora were set the challenge of creating realistic action plans based on each district's specific needs in the delivery of healthcare. Some overarching themes emerged: staff struggling to document their monthly meetings due to a simple lack of materials; a lack of recognising staff and clinics for good performance and, therefore, a lack of motivation for them to try to inspire others to follow their example. Alongside these common insights, individual district leaders also identified areas where they could offer direct support; such as ensuring that they conduct regular visits to all facilities to share their expertise and monitor progress.
Since September it has been a busy six months for the teams, with the UK participants providing remote support and their Ugandan counterparts giving their cultural insight and expertise. Actions have already been taken with 2,400 patient waiting cards given out to facilities, 270 meetings books and Employee of the Quarter certificates currently being distributed, and a two-day In-Charge training package and course book prepared, with support from colleagues at Janssen Pharmaceutica as well. December also saw the launch of the Caring Together Leadership Awards, where 75 facilities were recognised for their hard work.
We’re now thrilled to welcome the next cohort and to see what simple but effective ideas they come up with to help improve service delivery for patients. The districts we will be working with this time are Soroti, Katakwi, Kaberamaido and Amuria. There is again the scope for ideas to be scaled up to all the 270 rural health facilities that the Caring Together project supports alongside Baylor-Uganda. In total, these clinics provide healthcare for around three million people and over 170,000 pregnant women. Aloto! (Let’s go!)