Filming continued in Eastern Region last week and the team had the pleasure of travelling to Kumi and Soroti Districts.
Dr. John Opolot, District Health Officer of Kumi District, is a passionate champion for the Caring Together project. Retiring in June this year, he told the team that he wishes he had longer in office to advocate for the inclusion of Caring Together modules and tools in national curriculum for medical students.
Dr. John believes that "leadership is the door to better healthcare. We do not have bad leaders, we just have clinical staff who do not have the skills for leading others. Caring Together gives health workers these vital skills.'
Facility staff in Soroti District also advocated for the scale-up of the project to the rest of Uganda. Helen Aleppo, Facility In-Charge of Mukongoro Health Centre III, has been a Caring Together mentor since 2012. Helen attests that Caring Together made her "innovative". Helen has used the skills she learnt as a mentor to advocate for change and better amenities and services in her facility, and the facilities that she mentors. She has campaigned for new floors, for more training and more supplies for the facility staff that she works with. She is an inspiration to all who are privileged to know her, and she told the team that Caring Together helps her to run her facility efficiently everyday.
Kokas Opolot is another inspiring 'Super Mentor' from Eastern Region. Inspired by the Time Management module, Kokas decided to communicate with his fellow staff at Apapai Health Centre IV who worked with him in the Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) clinic to try find solutions to the problems they faced as a team. Patient waiting times for HIV+ clients at the clinic were a persistent problem for the team, and Kokas realized from the Caring Together Time Management module that "Time equals life. Waste your time, and waste your life." He persuaded the team, using this lesson, that if they arrived to work by 6.30am on ART clinic days, they could help more patients, and reduce their waiting times, before their other duties at the health centre started. Service at Apapai HCIV improved so much at the ART clinic that Kokas and the team started receiving gifts from the clinic's patients! Kokas has received many awards in recognition of his amazing leadership skills as a frontline health worker and he is an inspiration to us all.