Rukungiri health centre workers decry low staffing

A building housing the out-patient department at Rukungiri Health Centre IV. PHOTO | RONALD KABANZA

What you need to know:

  • Rukungiri District has four health centre IVs and they all face similar challenges.
  • They include: Kebisoni Health Centre IV in Kebisoni Town Council, Rukungiri Health Centre IV in Rukungiri Municipality, Buhunga Health Centre IV in Buhunga Sub-county and Bugangari.

Leaders in Bugangari Sub-county, Rukungiri District, have asked the government to increase the staffing at Bugangari Health Centre IV to improve service delivery.
The facility, which serves the sub-counties of Bwambara, Bugangari, Ruhinda and Nyakagyeme, receives between 1,600 and 1,800 outpatients and handles 100 deliveries every month. However, it has only 28 health workers and support staff, which is below the recommended staffing of 48 by the Ministry of Health.
Ms Jovita Mugisha, an enrolled midwife at the facility, said the many patients leave the staff constrained.
“The high number of patients we receive and services offered have increased because Bugangari was upgraded to a health centre IV but staffing level is still of a health centre III,” she said.
Ms Mugisha said this forces expectant mother to make long queues.
“The government should recruit more midwives to this facility since the numbers of expectant mothers keep increasing on a daily basis,” she said.
The Bugangari Sub-county chairperson, Mr Justone Byamukama, also said the facility does not have an ambulance, staff accommodation and a blood banker machine.
“The facility also serves neighbouring districts of Mitooma and Kanungu despite having few health workers. The district should at least send us more staff to help and reduce on the workload,” he says.
The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Waswa Masokoyi, said the challenge of low staffing levels is not only faced in the health department in the district.
“We are understaffed, I think you are aware that the government suspended the recruitment of new civil servants because of the audit of pay roll by Auditor general. We are told that the report is about to come out but until it comes out we can’t do much,” he said.

He added: “We have the money in some departments but we can’t recruit until we are cleared. So I want to appeal to our health staff to be patient and work because we are very much aware that they are doing too much work.”