ERIC Number: EJ842311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
Increasing Access to Health Education in Eastern Uganda: Rethinking the Role and Preparation of Volunteers
Siu, Godfrey E.; Whyte, Susan R.
Health Education Journal, v68 n2 p83-93 2009
Objective: In many parts of Uganda, the demand for health education is greater than the conventional health sector can provide and community health education volunteers fill the gap. Using two case study non government organizations (NGOs) that heavily rely on volunteers as health educators, this article shows the problems of unsystematic preparation of volunteers for their roles in health education. Design: An exploratory cross-sectional design using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions was used. Setting Two case study NGOs that heavily rely on volunteers as health educators were selected in a rural district in eastern Uganda. Method: Focus group discussions and observation of health education sessions were conducted, as well as in-depth interviews with volunteers and staff of the selected NGOs. Results: The NGOs were enthusiastic about the role of volunteers in health education and regarded them positively. However, the process of recruitment was informal. Orientation of the volunteers was insufficient and rather unsystematic. A minimal focus was placed on methods of conducting health education during the training of the volunteers, suggesting a failure to view health education as a professional field. This left the practice of health education at the mercy of the volunteers' own less reflective self-designed pedagogical approach. Conclusion: While there is a high enthusiasm for the potential role of volunteers, by both the NGOs and the community, their preparation for health education so far does not measure up to the demands of the tasks they are to perform. The limited emphasis on skills in planning, organizing and methods of health education leaves the practice of health education haphazard and indicates failure to view the area as a professional field.
Descriptors: Health Education, Focus Groups, Public Health, Nongovernmental Organizations, Volunteers, Foreign Countries, Access to Education, Case Studies, Role, Interviews, Teaching Methods, Educational Planning, Educational Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Uganda