The Ministry of Health in partnership with Extraordinary Media have announced that individuals and organizations that have given outstanding dedication in the delivery of health care services will be recognized and awarded with Heroes in Health Awards.
This was revealed on Friday by the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng during the media launch of the inaugural Awards which were conceived by Extraordinary Media. The awards gala will be held on April 3 and will be officiated by President Yoweri Museveni.
The Minister said the Awards are instrumental in appreciating the valuable and significant work undertaken by health workers, organizations and communities to improve health care delivery outcomes in the country.
Candidates will be voted for by the public who are the beneficiaries of the health services. Dr Aceng urged the public to nominate their favorite candidates (health facility, organization, programs, services and products) starting February 15 to March 15.
“Do not vote popular people or popular organizations. Vote on merit. Vote people you have seen doing good work and going an extra mile to give health services, and products that have had an impact,” Dr Aceng.
She said nominees will be subjected to vetting by a technical team to ensure they merit to be winners.
“For one to be awarded, there must be demonstrated evidence of extensive expertise and skill, dedication to service, client satisfaction with ongoing commitment to professionalism, excellence and innovation,” the Minister said.
At the same event, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the Country Rep for World Health Organization (WHO) in Uganda said the biggest asset for any organization is its human resource and that for Uganda’s health, it’s the health workers.
“The best result does not only come from dispensing medicine or decreasing mortality. It is also from giving a human touch. Making sure the people we serve are there to validate these nominations,” he said.
He said that studies have showed that health professionals are mostly motivated by recognition.
“This award is one of the ways of recognizing that”.
Agaba Ronald Bills, the National Coordinator for the Awards said an independent panel of judges composed of eminent practitioners will lead the process of selecting winners. They will receive all the nominees and shorten the nominees for each of the 25 categories to 4 nominees.
“We shall then send our media team with the judges to authenticate the stories from the top 4 nominees of each categories. These are 100 amazing stories. Then it will be from the 4 that one person or individual will be announced,” Agaba told SoftPower News.
On whether the awards have a cash value attached, Agaba said the recognition carries much more intrinsic value.
“The value goes beyond how much money we can give to an individual. We shall have the President in the room. It will be a Presidential handshake, with an accolade and this will be recognized by the Ministry, which is a big thing for any practitioner,” he added.
According to Agaba, the thinking behind the concept (Awards) was that there are people who do amazing work on a daily basis but don’t get noticed.
“Our health sector is among the most vibrant in the Sub Saharan Africa especially when it comes to dealing with epidemics and outbreaks. So, someone needs to reach out and find out the men and women on the frontline doing amazing things to save lives’.