Amuru District is stuck with drugs worth Shs20m meant to benefit locals in the disputed Apaa land.
The drugs were meant for Apaa Health Centre II but in the last two quarters, the health department has not been in position to have them delivered since police is manning the disputed Apaa land have since September last year reportedly asked health workers to vacate the area.
The Amuru LC5 chairperson, Michael Lakony, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that the health department is stuck with the drugs yet people are in dire need of medication.
“We are more worried about the expectant mothers and children since they are the most vulnerable and the only health centre left is Amuru Health Centre III, which is between 25 and 30 kilometres away from their homes,’’ he said.
Mr Lakony added that the expectant mothers have been left at the hands of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), who are operating illegally since they were banned by government.
The Aswa region police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Okema, yesterday said he was not in position to comment on the matter and referred this newspaper to his counterpart in West Nile, Ms Josephine Angucia. Ms Angucia’s phone was not available by press time.
Apaa land that borders Amuru and Adjumani districts has been a hot bed of rivalry between leaders and locals of the two districts for many years.
Local Government Minister Tom Butime officially handed over Apaa land to Adjumani District officials in October 2017, much to the chagrin of leaders and locals in Amuru.
Mr Butiime explained that the government’s decision to give away the disputed land to Adjumani was based on the 1958 map drawn by the colonial government.
The claimed land has 4,850 households.
The Secretary of health department, Mr Kaggwa Okello, said the locals are left with no option.
“Children and expectant mothers are in need of help.”
Mr Kaggwa added that they cannot watch as lives are lost to even treatable diseases.
He said they had reached out to the affected communities who have offered land where temporary structures can be erected to work as health facilities.
“Locals have given two acres of land in Okojo Village, Labala Parish so that a temporary health facility is put in place for easy accessibility of medical care,’’ Mr Kaggwa said.
The Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mt John Okwonga, said there is relief after locals offered land.
In October last year, President Museveni put in place a committee to resolve Apaa dispute, however, the impasse persists as both Adjumani and Amuru leaders accuse each other of operating in secrecy.