Health officials face demotion in Masindi district

MASINDI, March 4, 2024 – According to Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi district LCV Chairperson, each of the the in-charges of the different health facilities in the district will sign a six-month performance contract/agreement and whoever fails to perform to the required standards will be demoted.

Speaking during the handover of an ambulance to Bwijanga Health Centre IV on Friday, Byaruhanga explained that last year Masindi district performed poorly in terms of healthcare.

“Masindi was ranked the second last in the entire country. Salaries were enhanced but I don’t know why performance in healthcare is not improving. In the past health workers wouldn’t be paid well like it is today but they would perform well,” he said.

He said Masindi district leads in neonatal and maternal due to a number of issues including delay by mothers to visit the health facilities, negligence by health workers and the poor referral system.

He added: “We have also had issues like the poor leadership in the health sector due to lack of a substantive district health Officer but we are doing our best to address this.”

He was optimistic  that the agreements to be signed soon will compel the health facility in-charges to perform their duties to the satisfaction of government and other stakeholders.

He urged the health workers to do their part to reduce neonatal and maternal deaths in the district, the government having provided a well-equipped ambulance.

“I want you to build a good referral system and this ambulance which government has sent us should improve the referral system. It is very ashaming to see Bunyoro with highly trained health workers leading in neonatal and maternal deaths. Let everyone play his role,” he noted.

For his part, Felix Twinomigisha, the new Acting District Health Officer underlined the role of political leaders in improving the healthcare system in the country.

“Leaders at the top level especially the Members of Parliament should look at enhancing the Ministry of Health budget such that we are able to get timely and adequate medical supplies, and fuel for this ambulance among other requirements,” he said.

He added: “We also need a favourable working environment if we are to offer quality services. I have on several occasions used my personal money to buy fuel to refer some patients to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital due to lack of fuel at Masindi Main Hospital.”

He noted that some mothers have died in the hands of the traditional birth attendants [TBAs], urging politicians to sensitise the masses against using TBAs for deliveries.

Dr. Rogers Musinguzi, the in-charge Bwijanga Health IV explained that the facility faces a number of challenges including the leaking roofs for both the theatre and general ward, inadequate staff, and lack of an ultrasound machine among others.

Handing over the ambulance, Kenneth Kiiza Nyendwoha the Member of Parliament Bujenje County urged Masindi district leaders not to be confrontational in handling healthcare issues but instead use the engagement approach.

“The performance agreements should be on the health workers’ hearts but not only on paper. There is also need to sensitise the communities such that men are also brought on board because addressing neonatal and maternal deaths requires concerted efforts. Government has given us this ambulance such that the referral system is well addressed. It is shouldn’t be mismanaged and people shouldn’t people charged exorbitantly,” he warned.

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