Lira health workers train in health rights

18 Dec, 2009

HEPS-Uganda organized a two-day training workshop for health workers in Lira district to sensitise them on health rights and responsibilities and interpersonal communication.

The workshop was carried out on 19th-20th March 2009 at Alebtong Health Centre in Lira.

About 35 participants who included midwives, nurses, clinical officers and nursing assistants from public and private health units within Moroto County attended the workshop.

The workshop was aimed at building friendly and a mutually respective relationship between health service providers and patients especially expectant mothers.

The workshop covered maternal health rights and responsibilities; the human rights-based approach to health advocacy and delivery; interpersonal relationship and communication skills; and the importance of having a health complaints handling desk.

The facilitators of the workshop were experts on issues of health and human rights and communication from district health office, Pathfinder International and HEPS-Uganda.

The workshop was opened by the Lira Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO), Mr. Christopher Okumu, who said that the district’s major health priority was delivery of quality health services. He added that HEPS intervention was timely as it supplements efforts by the district administration to ensure that the majority of the war affected rural population access health facilities. He noted that HEPS-Uganda’s activities in the district enable expectant mothers to have confidence in themselves and cause attitudinal change among health workers.

The workshop enabled health workers to appreciate the need to change their attitude towards patients. They revealed that communication skills are not well covered in their professional training. The counseling training that they receive is not enough and only those who are dealing with HIV/AIDS are trained.

They welcomed the idea of having health complaints handling desk established in their respective health units, but pointed out that their rights are also not respected and requested HEPS-Uganda to also address the issue of health workers’ rights.