BY INNOCENT ATUGANYIRA & MUSINGUZI GOODLUCK
KIKUUBE: Saturday, August 14, 2021
Amlan Tumusiime, the Resident District Commissioner for Kikuube district, is fighting absenteeism in health centers across the district saying it affects Uganda’s progress in improving Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) indicators.
This was after getting numerous reports of health workers reporting late or absenting from work without any clear reason thus affecting service delivery in the district.
To ascertain the claims from the residents, Tumusiime paid a surprise visit to Buhimba Health Centre (HCIII) at 8:00am on Friday only to find that Langton Ayesiga, the records assistant, was the lone staff present.
Buhimba HCIII is found in Buhimba Town Council, Kikuube district in Bunyoro Sub-region.
As patients waited for the caretakers, the health workers started reporting for duty at 10:00am, prompting Amlan Tusiime to direct them to record statements at Buhimba Police Post over late coming.
The health workers including the in charge of the facility, George William Rukamagwa, Jennifer Kwikiriza, Vincent Kyomuhendo, Rosette Bonabaana and Alex Kyomuhangi.
According to John Atuhairwe, a patient who had reported for service, it had become a habit of health workers to report late for work.
“Some people had even resorted to getting health services from private clinics,” he said.
Another patient who feared to be named to avoid future repercussions said that the health workers report to work at 10:00am and break off for lunch three hours later, only to comeback to pack their belonging, thereby leaving patients unattended to.
She applauded the RDC and noted that if he continues his surprise visits to the health centers, there will be improvement of service delivery.
Tumusiime warned that he will not tolerate such kind of neglect of work in the district.
“I came here to work. As long as I am here, I will not tolerate this kind of conduct. People want proper services,” he fumed.The Government of Uganda has set targets on its path to reach the SDGs target by 2030 As such according to the “Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Sharpened Plan for Uganda 2016/17-2019/20”, the Government is addressing the following programs.
1-Improving maternal mortality( including improvement of skilled birth attendance and antenatal care), therefore abstenteeism is not good as we can loose Mothers or Girls that need services of specialized health workers which the Government has provided in a distance of 5 kilometers.
2- The Government of Uganda has invested heavily in the health sector to make sure there is improvement in adolescent health. With Covid19 pandemic that led to lockdowns it has been a challenge for youth to access health centers but with easing movement, the health workers are not available to serve the youth.
3- Family planning is a critical service to Men, Women and Adolescents who are trying to stop unplanned pregnacies or not ready to have families. The government and partners have provided condoms and other messages that promote safe sex, however these services can available when the experts have abandoned their duty stations.
4- Ending preventable newborn and under-five mortality, mothers are being encouraged to attend antenatal visits in gazetted health centers. This helps them to produce from health centers with skilled health workers, the health center must operate 24 hours so that the country doesnot loose a child or mothers be forced to visit village birth attendants.
The people of Kikuube district thanked their Resident District Commissioner for setting the standard based on SDGs 2030.