What you need to know:
- Mr James Odongo, the acting public relations officer at National Medical Stores (NMS), said drugs were delivered to Magoro Health Centre on December 4, adding that the day before, a consignment for soap was also delivered to the district.
- The medical officers in the health centres without drugs declined to speak to the media, asking us to contact the district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
Residents of Katakwi District have expressed concern over the deteriorating state of roads and health services in the area.
Mr Basil Ongonok, the secretary for Ajamaka Village in Magoro Sub-county, told Daily Monitor on Tuesday that district leaders are now focussing on retaining their seats and forgetting to monitor the basic social services.
“The roads need to be attended to but the leaders have all gone silent,” he said.
As local leaders, Mr Ongonok said, they were informed that the central government delivered equipment for maintaining the district roads but they are yet to see it on the ground.
He said some places can only be accessed because floods on the roads have started to recede but still, heavy vehicles carrying agricultural produce cannot go through.
“That is the agony we are going through, notwithstanding the shortage of drugs in both health centre IIIs and health centre IIs. Every time we go for treatment at Magoro Health Centre III, we are told there are no drugs, and the government has run out of drugs,” he said.
Ms Alice Turuke, a tailor at Magoro Trading Centre, said in the last six days she has visited Magoro Health Centre III, she has not found drugs.
“I am a peasant and I can’t afford receiving medication in private clinics; they are expensive. I need Coartem [malaria drug] for my children,” Ms Turuke added.
She added that to receive malaria treatment in a private clinic, one needs at least Shs15,000.
Ms Loyce Ariong, a resident of Apelun Village in Okore Sub-county, said besides shortage of drugs, they don’t have a single health centre in their area. To receive medication, they have to walk to health centres in Magoro and Ngariam sub-counties, about eight kilometres away.
The medical officers in the health centres without drugs declined to speak to the media, asking us to contact the district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
In response, Mr Saraphine Alia, the CAO, said drugs were supplied to the areas recently. He attributed the shortage of anti-malaria drugs to the recent high disease burden in the district following heavy rains.
“And amid the heavy rains, the locals don’t keep hygiene; they leave bushes to overgrow, which increases the numbers of mosquitoes that cause malaria,” Mr Alia added.
He also said the district had also invested about Shs1 billion in repairing roads over the last two years but that the floods had washed away some of them.
NMS speaks out
Mr James Odongo, the acting public relations officer at National Medical Stores (NMS), said drugs were delivered to Magoro Health Centre on December 4, adding that the day before, a consignment for soap was also delivered to the district. He added that when cartons of drugs are delivered to the health centre, the sub-county chief, the GISO or community members witness the opening to confirm whether the consignments are in the right quantities.