A fresh opportunity to deliver better services 

Friday May 14 2021
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By Editor

The President has been sworn in. At the start of this fresh five-year term of office, the citizenry have some expectations of the government. 

Some promises and pledges are yet to be fulfilled and there are needs that are yet to be met. This will only begin to feel like the start of something new when the changes are felt, rather than merely repeated. 

The health sector requires a lot of resources to be able to take care of our ordinary health needs but also respond swiftly and adequately in times of crisis.

 Key among the resources to prioritise is the health human resource. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is the value of our frontline workers and how much they sacrifice to render life-saving services. 

Once health is guaranteed, the productivity of the population is enhanced and we can get to the middle income status faster. 

However, if Ugandans are dying from preventable causes or from the lack of supplies that could have been bought with money misappropriated, this will only slow down our progress, demotivate those who are giving care and possibly lead to labour flight. 

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We cannot spend much on skilling our people only to lose them to other markets because we cannot pay decent wages or provide necessary materials. 

Our national plans should reflect and take advantage of sector linkages. It is not enough to pour resources into one end without working out the outcomes. If we are educating so many people, where will they be absorbed after school?

 If we are encouraging people to practise commercial agriculture and grow certain crops, how are they going to handle their produce, how will it reach the market or how do they add value? 

It is not enough to push for certain actions but not calculate the outcomes or prepare the answers to the questions that emerge once we start implementing. Forecasting can help us to gauge what to expect of the projects we set in motion today. 

It is not enough to educate massively without anticipating the future of the students. Building hospitals and health centres is a great idea but we need to have a system that effectively trains the required personnel, ensures that they receive decent wages and that they can be retained to run the facilities effectively, with adequate tools.

Looking forward, there is room to do better planning and more effective implementation, taking into account the outcomes of what we do today.

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