MASINDI RDC INVOLVES SECURITY AGENCIES IN FIGHT AGAINST EXTORTION AMONG HEALTH WORKERS
By Yosam Gucwaki
The Residents District Commissioner Masindi Godfrey Nyakahuma has involved the Military intelligence, crime intelligence and the internal security organization (ISO) in the fight against the increasing extortion among the healthworkers in Masindi district.
According to Nyakahuma, this follows the public outcry by residents during the Barazas which were organized by Community Driven network Uganda (CODNET UGANDA) and other NGOs across the district.
He said that he has received several complaints from NGOs and the people in the district on the issue of poor performance and extortion from unsuspecting people.
He added that he has also received concerns like late reporting, stealing of government drugs and health workers failing to work at night and during weekends.
Nyakahuma also said that he has learnt of a Doctor at Masindi hospital theatre who has turned the theater to be his own projects adding that before the Doctor does any operation he charges between 200,000 to 300,000 Uganda shillings which is handed to the him by his aid before working on the patient.
He also said that he received complaints that for a mother to deliver by caesarian section at Bwijanga health centre IV she has to pay between 200,000 and 250,000 Uganda shillings something he said is very irritating.
However, responding to the RDC’s remarks at Bwijanga health centre IV during the joint monitoring between the district leaders and CODNET Uganda, Rogers Musinguzi noted that before they are blamed as health workers they should first understand the root cause of the problem.
He said that for them at Bwijanga health centre IV they have a theatre but sometimes they have no required equipment to use citing gloves, sutures, blood among others and yet they are vital necessities in their work.
Faith Kabagaya aclinical officer at Bwijanga health centre IV explained that as health workers they have reached an extent of soliciting money among them selves to help the referred patients reach where they are referred adding that most of the patients who come to government health centres and the hospitals are poor people who can’t afford the transport costs.
She added that apparentlythe facility’s ambulance is grounded and they have no option but to touch in their pockets as health workers to help the patients
Lawrence Baleke, the health in charge Ikoba health centre III in Bwijanga sub county explained that as health workers they are constrained in whatever they are doing due to the in adequate resources. He said that at the moment they are stuck with over 100 dozes of hepatitis B because they have no syringes to use.
He said that the ones they received with thehepatitis vaccines were used to treat children who had malaria since the ones they normally used had been used up. Baleke says that now whoever wants to be vaccinated against hepatitis B is advised to buy his or her own syringe to be worked upon.
But the district health inspector, Patrick Baguma advised the health workers to stick on their ethics even if they are working under terrible situations. He says they have to handle the clients with care since they are paid tax payers money.
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