Photo: Opus James
My name is Opus James. I serve as a VHT (a member of a Village Health Team) in Kamenu Parish in Katakwi, Uganda. I serve three villages: Aputon, Apeleu and Atapar.
As part of my work, I screen people for malaria. If someone is sick, they must get treatment within twenty-four hours, in order for the treatment to be most effective. So when I visit with a sick child or adult [and they test positive for malaria], I treat them immediately using Coartem [first-line medication for treating malaria]. If the person has a severely high fever, I refer them to a government health clinic.
I enjoy my job as a VHT because it attracts people to my home. I enjoy having visitors, being with them and helping them to be healthy.
Photo: Okwanyang Joseph
I am called Okwanyang Joseph. I am a VHT (member of a Village Health Team) in Omasia Parish in Katakwi, Uganda. I serve Kipiyang village. I was chosen to become a VHT because people trusted me.
When people in this village suffer from malaria, they spend a lot of money for treatment. Also, sick people are not productive, so as a VHT I have to educate them and teach them how to prevent malaria in their homes.
My work in the village has enabled people to access health services. When they are sick, I am the first person they come to. I screen them for malaria and if it’s not there I refer them to the health center for additional tests.
Those with malaria I treat on the spot, to make them healthy again. Then they will be able to cultivate their land and be productive. I also do follow-up visits after treatment of malaria to make sure they are using the mosquito net properly.
I also teach people to slash bushes in their compounds [which attract mosquitoes], and this has reduced cases of malaria here. I enjoy promoting hygiene and put latrines. I enjoy testing and giving treatment, sensitizing people on the proper use of nets, and encouraging people to get treatment within 24 hours.