As part of its Valuing Health Workers research and advocacy project, VSO International has issued its latest country report from Uganda. Our Side of the Story is based on the experiences of 122 health workers working in the government sector and in private health service provision.
Health workers in Uganda spoke of their difficulties, including; poor working conditions, low pay and a lack of essential medicines in the facilities in which they work. However, doctors, nurses and midwives also talked of the satisfactions in doing their job – how good it felt when a patient who was sick, got well again because of their care. We know that poor attitudes and unethical behaviour exist within the health workforce but we found that health workers wanted to do a good job and serve their communities well: “Making people happy makes me happy,” said one respondent.
When it comes to policy discussions and “human resources for health”, the voices of health workers are rarely heard. Health workers often come across as “passive recipients”, rather than active participants in debates about their recruitment and retention. VSO’s Valuing Health Workers initiative listens to the views of health workers and gathers evidence to advocate for change.
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