Benjamin Makanga the District Councillor for Nakaseke sub county says that he supports the move saying there is public outcry that government buys medicine and inject a lot of money in infrastructure development but access to health services remain a challenge.
After reaping success in campaign against poor performance
in Primary Leaving Examinations -PLE, Nakaseke LC 5 Chairman has now shifted the
fight to absentee health workers.
In 2016, Nakaseke LC 5 Chairman, Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka
launched a campaign to establish whether the teachers understand what they
teach and if headteachers are competent enough to help their learners to pass the Primary
Leaving exams. The District Council also passed a resolution to administer PLE to teachers but this was only blocked by Ministry of Education.
Since the campaign was launched in 2016, over 30 head
teachers have been demoted after failing to ensure that candidates pass PLE. As result which could be partly attributed to the fight has seen Nakaseke
district's pass rate increase significantly from 65 to 95 percent pass
rate in 2019 as teachers and headteachers struggle not be demoted.
Nakaseke district now
ranks better ahead of all other districts in the Greater Luweero area, in 56
position nationwide, followed by Luweero which was ranked 66 and Nakasongola in
the 75th position in 2019 UNEB results.
Koomu says that campaign has largely been successful after pressure pilled on headteachers to supervise and ensure teachers teach daily so
that they are not demoted.
Koomu says he intends to roll out the campaign to health sector to address the challenge of absenteeism
and negligence of health workers which have blighted the services.
He adds that in his fresh campaign, he intends to pile pressure
on in charges of health centers to ensure they appear at health
centers daily and closely supervise junior staff to offer services to people.
Cue in: “ In health…
// Cue in; Njagala nokulaba…
Cue out;…bwa basawo.”//
In the campaign, In Charges of Health Centers face demotion, salary deductions and dismissal if they are found guilty of the offenses by the District Service Commission.
Koomu intends to start the campaign in 2021 if he secures another term to stay in office.
Benjamin Makanga, the District Councillor for Nakaseke sub
county says that he supports the move because it addresses the public outcry over rampant absenteeism of health workers and poor health services.
Simon Musaazi, a resident of Nakaseke town says that several
people have shunned government health centers over long queues because some
staff opt to be absent and overload few that stay behind.
Musaazi adds that some doctors work few hours because they move to private clinics where they spend most time hence cheating the government. He adds that the campaign is welcome and is hopeful
that it may awake the health workers who absent themselves.
But several health workers at Nakaseke Hospital who declined
to be named said the move may plunge the health sector into further
understaffing since they won’t tolerate to work on pressure .
They say that Koomu must advocate for better accommodation which
is among the issues that contribute to absenteeism.
Data from Twaweza's new Sauti za Wananchi survey (2017),
shows that about 15% respondents encountered problems of absent doctors and 30
% said they spent long hours in queues among others challenges.
Recently Luweero District Health Officer, Innocent Nkonwa
issued a circular ordering health Center in Charges to take proper analysis of
daily performance of all staff and report to him. Nkonwa says staff shall be
paid for the number of days worked in a month in accordance with the new
Section F-B (10) the Uganda Public Standing Orders, which
mandates Government to take disciplinary action against an officer
including making deductions from his or her pay for any period during, which he
or she is absent from work without permission.
In 2014, Government introduced a new payroll system
where each staff signs staff lists and sends them to the CAO's office by July
15th for onward transmission to the Finance Ministry to process
salaries. The guidelines are intended to stem absenteeism, ghost workers
and boost efficiency of government workers.
However despite all these measures and sanctions,
absenteeism is still a challenge in health centers.