Advocates have a critical role to play in engaging policymakers at national and subnational levels, and holding them accountable for prioritizing PHC. When groups of advocates work together, their voices become more powerful and the process of unification clarifies challenges, priorities and solutions.
In Uganda, PATH helped bring together a group of civil society organizations to establish a coalition—the PHC Think Tank—to help advance primary health care. The group, made up of development partners including Living Goods, ThinkWell, Partners in Population and Development, White Ribbon Alliance, Amref Health Africa and the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, worked together to develop a plan for joint action to call on government to prioritize PHC policy, planning and budget allocation.
“Within the coalition, each organization brought to the table expertise in different PHC thematic areas, thought leadership for PHC during health sector planning and budgeting processes, and added value through sustained and coordinated action among members and other partners,” explained Esther Nasikye, Advocacy and Policy Manager for PATH Uganda.
The success of the PHC Think Tank is attributed to the collaborative efforts of members, including developing a set of advocacy messages – which have been used in large-scale advocacy initiatives and public events – and advocacy in support for a national bill on health insurance recently passed by Parliament.
The think tank also worked with youth-led organizations and local organizations to develop an advocacy guide on community involvement in PHC to promote community and youth involvement in local health systems.
“The advocacy guide provides information on the governance, structure and funding of PHC in Uganda so that community members can better respond to their own health needs and the needs of their community,” Esther said.
The advocacy guide also includes user-friendly resources, such as a needs assessment guide and an action plan template, to help stimulate community participation and engagement in improving health care. primaries.
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