“We are living a happy life!”
Stephen is a community healthworker from Namabasa, Mbale. He tells us how the training he received thanks to PONT has not only helped his community, but also him as an individual, earning him the respect of his neighbours and of health centre staff – and giving him important family planning advice after having 16 children!
“My name is Stephen, I’m a community healthworker from Namabasa. I was trained by Salem then in addition to that I was trained again by PONT as an OPL (an operational level healthworker who has received extra training).
I thank PONT for training me to that level. I’m carrying out so many activities like mobilisation of community members and health education. We go to ‘outreaches’ and we train parents on various aspects like nutrition, family planning, AIDS, malaria and so on. We are the ones who do the mobilisation, for the parents to take the children for immunisation. We even do health education in schools, at churches, mosques.
I do home visits. I don’t go with a special activity but what I get there I educate people on what I find and if I see it is beyond me I refer them. With that referral I even accompany them, they could have access to Nakaloke health centre, Salem, Namatala, even Mbale main hospital. As volunteer healthworkers we are known, in the health centres and hospital, if they see our referrals they honour them and they do the needful.
We thank PONT for the motorbike ambulance. It has helped as even if you called him at night he comes because he has our numbers, he responds, so it has saved many, many mothers, even lives of children, so we are happy with that.
We’re in touch with the health centres – even if we come for reports, if you come to ask for anything they just give it to you, they know we are ‘musawo’ (the word for nurse, doctor or healthworker) and I am proud of this because in my community they call me ‘musawo’. They come to me and say, ‘musawo you help me.’
Family planning has done good for us and it has helped me also, it has helped me so much because I have so far 16 children! But when I got this health education, I had to be an example. My wife now has a child of four years, we are using family planning, not like those days we used to get pregnant every year, every year! It has helped me so much.
We are friendly with the other community members, whatever we tell them they do and whatever we are educated on we also deliver to them and we are living a happy life!
We only pray that PONT continues having that friendship with us to continue saving lives of our community members. Thank you.”