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Citizen Engagement In Uganda Helps Keep Governments Accountable To Ensure Leaders Prioritize, Fulfill Health Commitments

Huffington Post: Getting The Message Home: Advocacy For Health Accountability In Uganda
Deogratias Agaba, community empowerment officer at PATH/Uganda

“…[At PATH’s Advocacy for Better Health (ABH), accountability] means turning up the volume of citizen voices. We achieve this by building the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate to decision-makers at both the local and national levels. … Our citizen empowerment and advocacy approach has brought a number of successes. Due to the vigilance of citizens, in many health facilities, health workers are no longer perpetually absent from duty. In other facilities, district officials have stationed more health workers, especially midwives, and decision-makers have committed to address gaps affecting the delivery of high-quality services. In some communities, new cadres of health care workers have begun work in facilities that were previously understaffed. All of this means better health care for the citizens in those communities — and a more accountable government. … Accountability for health begins at home, and a stronger civil society can mean a stronger, more responsive government. But first, citizens must know how to pressure leaders to fulfill their health commitments. We look forward to continuing our work across Uganda to empower citizens to demand that leaders prioritize the health of every citizen” (3/30).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.