CHWs’ Role in Improving Immunization Coverage in Communities

Emphasizing the important role that Community Health Workers (CHWs) play in improving the health status of children, Namatovu Justine, a 30-year-old resident of Lugala, Kampala, Uganda applauded Living Goods-supported CHW Josephine for demystifying the myths she had about immunization.

CHW Josephine Nakimuli Sebuwufu, checking the immunization card of Namatovu’s new born child at Milne health centre, Lugala, Uganda.

“I first met CHW Josephine when my second born was a year old. At that point, I was reluctant to take him for immunization, causing him to miss several important vaccine doses, which left him vulnerable to diseases,” explained Justine.

Fortunately, CHW Josephine educated Justine on the benefits of immunization and referred her to an immunization site. Subsequently, her son received all the overdue vaccine doses, which has led to a significant improvement in his health.

CHWs supported by Living Goods are trained and equipped to support families to demystify myths, address misinformation and educate them about the importance of immunization.

Since CHWs live and work within their communities, they can walk the full journey with their clients. They provide antenatal, newborn, and postnatal care, encouraging mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding and advising them on healthy feeding. They are therefore well placed to initiate contact between their patients and the formal health system.

“It brings me joy and satisfaction whenever people heed my advice and behave more responsibly about their health,” said CHW Josephine, who has been doing this work for the last five years.

“Josephine is not only a ‘village doctor’ but also a counselor who listens and advises many people in our community,” remarked Justine.

Since 2018, Living Goods has trained and empowered more than 6,500 CHWs to educate families about immunization, use digital tools to track under-immunized and zero-dose children, and make referrals and follow-up visits to ensure all inoculations happen on schedule.

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