Paul Mulawa is a 38-year-old Family Planning (FP) Champion and Village Health Team (VHT) member in the Iganga District, Ibalanku subcounty of Uganda. Elected by the community, Mulawa l’s VHT works within their community to promote FP, encourage individuals to immunize their children, and discuss hygiene in their homes. Paul is proud to be called a health worker in his community and is especially interested in the areas of FP and sanitation, which he believes offer the most room for improvement.
Growing up, Mulawa wanted to become a football player, but if Mulawa could choose any career today, he would like to be a farmer. He believes that these days, Uganda greatly depends on agriculture and the grazing of cattle. Now, with a wife and two children, Mulawa spends his days gardening, looking after his cows, and traveling to the health center to advise community members on what services are available for better health. In addition to his work, Mulawa helps his parents and provides food for them through his agriculture efforts.
One of the most challenging aspects of Mulawa’s work is moving during the rainy season. The VHT does not have bicycles, making long journeys difficult. Sometimes, the VHT finds they can’t manage to carry the supplies they are given without a bicycle.
Personally, Mulawa is most impacted when community members share their difficulties with the VHT. After they discuss their challenges, the VHT and clients sit together and share ideas about potential solutions. This is especially impactful in situations such as explaining the importance of circumcision to young boys. He remembers a particular client, Mr. George, who took their advice and got the services he needed, and returned to offer his appreciation for their help.