Ugandan Government Commits to Paying CHWs Engaged in COVID Response

Living Goods is thrilled that the Government of Uganda has allocated a budget to pay CHWs for the first time—showcasing its commitment to operationalizing its new Community Engagement Strategy for the COVID pandemic. Released in July, the quarterly payments of UGX 300,000 ($84) target at least one CHW per village and cover three months’ work. This is a major milestone worthy of celebration, since CHWs have long been considered volunteers and are usually not paid by government.

In his address about the COVID pandemic, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recognized CHWs as a key group supporting communities to access information and health services at the household level. He later directed they be activated to support village committees in charge of the COVID response, since they also contribute to improving primary health care through routine home visits. Working collaboratively with health centers, CHWs also support prevention, early detection, and surveillance of diseases at the community level.

It is unclear if these payments will continue beyond September, but Living Goods is continuing to support our government partners to bring this goal to fruition, given the vital role CHWs play in maintaining a resilient and effective community health system.

Living Goods supported the development of Uganda’s Community Engagement Strategy, which was launched in 2020 as part its national strategy to respond to the pandemic, with the overall goal of empowering communities to fight COVID and its negative social, economic, and health consequences in all localities. The strategy stresses the importance of community involvement and ownership of the pandemic response.

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