Health

HEALTH MINISTRY TRACKS STRATEGIES TO HELP BATWA PEOPLE

By Alex Byakatonda

KABALE: The Ministry of Health in partnership with Kabale District health department are fast tracking strategies and ways to help the Batwa living in the district to easily access health services.

The Kabale district health officer, Dr Gilbert Arineitwe Mateeka, made the revelation Thursday while speaking during an engagement organized by the Ministry of Health in partnership with Sabini group.

The meeting, which was held in the Kabale District council hall, attracted other participants who included, leaders of the Batwa community, Kabale district authorities, officials from Kabale University and leaders from other development partners like African Christian Ministries-AICM and Nature Uganda among others.

Dr Arineitwe says that the engagement meeting was organized to sensitize the Batwa and help them improve on their health services seeking behavior like immunization, antenatal care services among others from all health facilities.

He added that during their engagement some of the Batwa leaders requested the district health authorities, select village health team members from amongst the Batwa, who resonate with their fellow Batwa, for easy mobilization and to improve on the uptake of health services.

The Deputy Director of Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization programs in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Michael Baganizi, said that the ministry is on a fact-finding mission to ascertain why the marginalized groups like the Batwa, have failed to embrace major health services like immunization.

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He said that 2percent of all children don’t always access immunization services, while around 6 percent of eligible children for immunization start but don’t finish their doses because they stay in hard to reach places especially those inhabited by the marginalized groups like the batwa.

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