Health Workers Under fire for Closing Health Center for 10 days

1704 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Byonanebye says she delivered a set of twins at the health center on International Women’s day without the help of any medical worker despite the fact that she arrived at the facility on time.

Health workers at Kyanamira health centre III in Kabale have come under fire from residents and district officials for closing the facility for 10 days. The health workers allegedly closed the health center on 3rdMarch without an explanation and only reopened on March 12, 2014. The abrupt closure of the health center affected health service delivery to residents.
Mathew Kwarija, a resident of Kigata Parish in Kyanamira Sub County says he visited the health center on three different occasions and found it closed. He says none of the health workers showed up for work. Udita Byonanebye, a resident of Kishekyera Village in the same sub county says she was affected by the closure of the health facility. 

Byonanebye says she delivered a set of twins at the health center on International Women’s day without the help of any medical worker despite the fact that she arrived at the facility on time. According to Byonanebye she arrived at the Health Centre at around 08:30am but found the facility under key lock. Byonanebye says that she decided to wait hoping that the medical workers will turn up but none of them showed up.

She says that when she started feeling labor pains she hid in the nearby bush, where she was found by passerby who heard her struggling to push the baby. Byonanebye explains that the women took her to maternity ward at the health center, which was also closed but it was opened by one of the helpers, where she delivered a set of twins. Lydia Ekyakunzire, the Chairperson Kyanamira health centre Management committee says that Byonanebye is the second woman to give birth at the facility without the help of health workers.

Juliet Kabagabe, the officer in charge of the health center says the health workers decided to close the facility to protest the failure by government to pay their salaries for the last three months. Grace Natukunda, a Midwife at the facility says the health workers lost morale over none payment of their salaries but admits that they made a mistake to close the facility without communicating to the authorities.

Julius Barusya, the Kabale district health committee chairperson says the health workers behaved in a manner which endangers the lives of residents.

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Barusya adds that the claims that the health workers decided to leave the facility because they are demanding salaries for the last three months does not hold adding that, they should have communicated if at all they were not interested in working.
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Loy Zikampereza, the Kabale district health secretary says the decision by the health workers to close the facility was uncalled for. She says the district leadership plans to hold a meeting and take disciplinary action against the medical workers.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.