By Clayton Taylor, Board Member, Malaria Partners International
When we traveled to Soroti and Katakwi Districts, we had several in-person visits with trained Village Healthcare Workers who are diagnosing and treating malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia at the local village level. This was inspiring as we heard how committed these folks are even though they are essentially serving as volunteers.
They expressed great pride in their work and take their responsibilities very seriously. They end up being on call 24 hours per day. They also let us know that they need more supplies, including — bicycles and head lamps for travel; more medications for patients; and more bed nets and interior spraying to help with prevention.
Finally they let us know that they would greatly appreciate an increase in their compensation — from current $3 per month for transportation expense reimbursement to a more meaningful wage of $10-20 per month.
We were told that the average monthly Village Healthcare Worker compensation in other countries in East Africa is closer to $35-45 per month.
Throughout our week in Uganda, we were hosted and lead by Dorothy Echodu who is CEO for Pilgrim Africa. While I traveled with Dorothy as part of the MPI group in Zambia in 2019, this was my first opportunity to spend lots of time with her and to get well acquainted.
Her leadership for her Pilgrim group is amazing, as are the projects that they are sponsoring such as a school in Soroti that was founded to deal with recovering Child Soldiers. While visiting her school, one member of the faculty said it all when they said they recognized Dorothy as “Dorothy Mama Africa.” Her commitment to Uganda and her great work is extremely important and deeply appreciated. She completely embodies “Mama Africa!”