Experts from the Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme (URDT) and Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) trained Village Health Teams (VHTs) in the use of the AWACAN tool.
These VHTs from Mpasaana sub-county, Kakumiro district, were also able to learn more about the issues addressed by the PRESCRIP-TEC Project, what cervical cancer is, how it develops, the symptoms patients may present with, how it can be treated, and its possible prevention and elimination by following the WHO strategy.
AWACAN as a tool for improving communication
The African Women Awareness of CANcer AWACAN tool measures womens’ awareness of the symptoms and risk factors for breast and cervical cancer, their beliefs, confidence in appraising potential symptoms, help-seeking behavior, and barriers to health care.
The AWACAN training emphasises the importance of its detailed completion for research purposes. Broadly, the questions that the VHTs will ask patients are related to:
- Decision-making about their health
- Cervical cancer symptoms and awareness
- Knowledge of risk factors
- Knowledge of symptoms
- Help-seeking behavior
- Confidence in their skills and behaviors in relation to a cervical cancer signs/symptoms
- Barriers to seeking medical help
PRESCRIP-TEC is using the AWACAN tool to adapt the project’s key messages and to improve strategies for adherence to treatment and follow-up.
Role of village health teams (VHTs) in Uganda
The Village Health Teams were established by the Ministry of Health of Uganda to empower communities to take part in the decisions that affect their health,mobilize communities for health programs, and strengthen the delivery of health services at the household level.
The VHTs are key members of the community because they help to connect the gap between grassroots communities and health services. They mobilize community participation in health projects, especially with door to door projects which the Ministry cannot conduct itself.
Every village in Uganda has VHTs selected by the community to promote the health and wellbeing of the people in their areas of residence/jurisdiction.
PRESCRIP-TEC project in Uganda
Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme (URDT) and Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), are the two PRESCRIP-TEC consortium in-country partners in Uganda. Find more information about the activities of PRESCRIP-TEC in Uganda at: