Mungherera envisions better Policy execution at the Ministry of Health.

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By Eddie Ssemakula

As a member of several Ministry of Health policy committees, and chairperson on the Global Fund national interventions, Dr Lydia Mungherera has more to say about policy than anything else I Uganda’s health sector. She helped bring a lot of knowledge to policy formulation in maternal health, and HIV and AIDS among other working committees she was part of.   she has also been approached as a commissioner in the Uganda AIDS Commission.

For years now, Dr Lydia Mungherera has also chaired the Uganda AIDS control program and formulated policy direction among many technical working groups.

She says receiving the HIHA lifetime award validated her prior work, and now that she is developing as a mentor, she is committed to moving forward in an area that desperately needs more mentors. “This award has made me feel like I have so much more to offer. It also helps to know who else the ministry recognizes. It has inspired me to go forward and now I can provide the best that I can to improve certain areas that require my expertise.” she says.

The difficulty of bringing the major sectors together to discuss a single policy worries her. “On programming, many people are working in silos,” she says. However, there is a lot of opportunity, particularly with the people. who are quite experienced, we also have the chance to return many of our experts in diaspora home and also persuade those who need to return to private practice for the sake of the common good.”

She also notes an opportunity for research-based interventions, “This is the time for us to get together and discuss how we can have our data speak to each other and influence decision-making. “ she quips, there is also an opportunity for district-led interventions,” she continues. “Districts can be the lead in bringing together everything that happens together in the district.” “Sometimes even the ministry is not in control of what happens in the district.”

There is also a lot of opportunity for civil society to get involved in the working groups, as we try to harmonize efforts and direction, which civil society does best. Mungherera explains, “Innovation can for example help us with non-communicable diseases”, she notes, “Working with the private sector too is an opportunity we need to optimize too in this one Uganda health system”

Mungherera has always been a community advocate and she believes community health workers are key in working in all areas.” Many are ageing with HIV, yet it is a critical area too we should be putting emphasis too especially with other challenges like mental health diabetes etc. ARVs tend to exhaust those who take them, outreaches designed for them is necessary, that said domestic funding needs to be mobilized .”

The main goal of HIHA’s work is to elevate voices like hers. Hopefully, this began with the lifetime award, but even with a single acknowledgement, her goals of empowering the next generation can be accelerated even further indeed.

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio digni goikussimos ducimus qui to bonfo blanditiis praese. Ntium voluum deleniti atque.