Patients in many health centres in Kasese District are at risk of death after 40 per cent of the recently-recruited health workers are confirmed absent from their respective duty stations. “I have confirmed that 40 per cent of the newly-recruited health workers have either absconded or abandoned the duty in the district,” the district secretary for social services, Ms Peluce Kabagenyi, told a council sitting this week.
Ms Kabagenyi said government continues to spend huge sums of money on health workers who are not working. However, the councillors demand for government explanation why such workers have not been punished.
The council speaker, Mr Zepher Mubingwa, asked why the district executive has failed to monitor and take appropriate action against the culpable health officials. “We shall not sit back and wait for the situation to get out of hand when we have the whole executive committee. If you have problems, just tell us and we help you since we have all the powers,” Mr Mubingwa told the district executive.
The councillor for Lake Katwe Sub-county, Mr Muzamilu Bisanga, threatened censure of the district executive for failure to execute their duties. “We shall not keep lamenting about the executive’s failure to perform yet we have the mandate to get them out of power,” Mr Muzamilu said.
The district chairperson, Mr Mawa Muhindo, who heads the executive, was not present in the council meeting. The secretary for works, Mr Matayo Bwambale, amused the council when he said the district service commission would soon advertise the health jobs yet no position had been declared vacant.
However, the district vice chairperson, Mr Tadeo Muhindo, who represented the chairperson, pleaded for leniency from the council for activities the executive has not implemented, but insisted action is being taken. “We have tried to work. Five Sub-county chiefs were suspended for two months, others are being demoted. We have also retired at least five service providers under Naads,” he said.
Last month, minister of state for Health Dr Elioda Tumwesigye was shocked when he visited Lira Regional Referral Hospital and found patients lying on the floor unattended. He was informed that the rate of maternal and neonatal death is on the rise with two deaths, six neonatal and 11 still births in November.