Uganda’s health service delivery structure includes village health teams (VHTs), grass root structures that comprise volunteers that deliver basic health services and education. VHTs do COVID-19 surveillance and rural environments are likely to be more affected by COVID-19 than the urban environments. Standard operating procedures for prevention of COVID-19 necessitate use of basic necessities, such as water, soap or masks which are not easily affordable. The VHTs as first responders in the rural areas are at times poorly facilitated and this puts their lives at risk of infection. This study applied a qualitative approach where data were collected using in-depth interviews with VHT members, community members and local leaders. Twenty-two study participants were conveniently sampled from 12 villages. The interviewees were conducted by telephone as a precaution of observing and adhering to Uganda’s COVID-19 pandemic response that included a total lockdown. Data were analysed using Nvivo and categorised in themes and patterns. Findings indicate that VHTs do health monitoring and provide reliable information regarding COVID-19 to the community members. VHTs work despite being amidst material and financial constraints. Hence, they are very helpful in resource- and health care-constrained rural communities. The rural environments were associated with lack of awareness on the pandemic, poverty, low levels of education, reluctance in complying with the presidential directives with regard to responding and preventing COVID-19, inadequate protective gears, among others.
Agnes, K. and Joshua, M. (2023), "Community Health Structures and the Covid-19 Response in Low-Resource Settings: The that Case of Village Health Teams", Ogunyemi, K. and Onaga, A.I. (Ed.) Responsible Management of Shifts in Work Modes – Values for Post Pandemic Sustainability, Volume 2, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 143-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80262-723-720221015
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2023 Kyamulabi Agnes and Mugambwa Joshua