Published: June 5, 2012, 12:00 am
When the Health Communication Partnership Uganda (HCP) says Mweraba (goodbye) at the end of June, the Uganda Ministry of Health and HCP partner organizations will not have to bid farewell to the many campaigns and strategies developed by the project.
Officials from the Uganda Ministry of Health view project materials at the HCP end-of-project event; insert: Navigating the HCP e-toolkits.
HCP’s influence will continue through the eight online “toolkits” that were developed as part of the project’s legacy.
The e-toolkits, housed on the Knowledge for Health website, contain project resources developed to support health communication efforts in pediatric HIV, family planning, HIV care and treatment, couple HIV counselling and testing, safe male circumcision, radio distance learning for Village Health Teams, the National Health Hotline and an overview of the HCP project. They collate communication strategy documents, research reports, communication materials, videos and radio clips prepared during HCP’s five-year tenure. In addition, the toolkits link to the Young Empowered and Health (Y.E.A.H.) website which contains material resources. Y.E.A.H. received technical assistance from HCP since its inception in 2004.
“[HCP] wanted to share the resources it has helped the Government of Uganda and its partners to develop over the past five years so that this communication can continue after HCP ends,” explains Chief of Party Cheryl Lettenmaier.
Dr. Isaac Ezati, Director for Health Services and Planning in the Ministry of Health, commended HCP for compiling the e-toolkits, saying, “Other projects end and take everything away with them. They should learn from HCP, which has left everything with us so we can continue the work we started. Now, it is up to us to continue.”
The e-toolkits were officially introduced at the HCP end-of-project event which was held on May 17 and attended by almost 300 representatives from partner organizations. At this event, which included laudatory speeches about the project’s many accomplishments by dignitaries from the Ministry of Health, Uganda AIDS Commission and USAID, attendees had an opportunity to practice navigating the online toolkits.
At a press conference following the event, Paul Kagwa, Assistant Commissioner for Health Promotion and Education at the Ministry of Health, endorsed the e-toolkits, telling reporters that the Ministry of Health recommends that all partners use the HCP communication materials and strategies because they were developed in partnership with the Ministry and have been tested successfully.
The Health Communication Partnership Uganda (HCP) was a five-year project (2007-2012), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Centre for Communication Programs (JHU•CCP). The project was built on the foundation of the three-year Health Communication Partnership-I (2004-2007) award. HCP worked collaboratively with the Government of Uganda and partner organizations to change individual behavior, mobilize communities, create an enabling environment for sound health practices and build capacity in health communication.
For more information about HCP Uganda, the final project report is available for download.