Masindi health centre run by one nurse

Residents of Kasongoire Parish have decried the absence of health workers at Kasongoire health centre II in Budongo Sub-County, Masindi district.

The LCI chairperson for Kisagura village, which hosts the facility, Julius Bagonza, told The Albertine Journal that the facility has three health workers, but only one has reported for duty in a year.

A health centre II is supposed to be led by an enrolled nurse, working with a midwife, two nursing assistants and a health assistant.

It runs an out-patient clinic, treating common diseases and offering antenatal care and refers cases that it cannot manage to the unit the next level up.

The facility, located 40 kilometres from Masindi town serves the nine villages: Kimanya, Kyabijewenga Nyakyeju, Waipacu, Kasongoire, kisagura, Kiryamyongo, Kimatuka and Bulyango with an estimated population of 10,000 people.

Enos Mugisa a resident of Kimanya village says he recently visited the facility to seek medication after developing abdominal complications but he was surprised to find only one health worker working on over 30 patients. 

He alleges that the only nurse who reports for duty attends work at leisure and works on five patients only, an allegation the staff refuted.

Mugisa further queried why, despite the facility having staff quarters, the health workers abandoned it for the guards and cleaners.

The in charge of the facility rents in Masindi town which is 40 kilometres away from the facility while another female nurse rents 5 kilometres away from the facility.

Residents say the absence of a midwife forces expecting women to double their journey to Kinyara Health Centre, 20 kilometers away, for antenatal services.

Agnes Nyakirya, secretary for women and youth affairs in Budongo Sub- County says some are resorting to traditional birth attendants despite being banned by the government. 

She adds that a boda boda charges between sh15, 000 to sh20,000 to Kinyara health facility, fees many cannot afford. 

Staff speak out

Joel Isingoma, the enrolled nurse at the facility confessed he has run the facility alone, burdened by the workload.

He alleges that the in charge abandoned the facility completely and his absence has grossly affected service delivery.

When contacted for a comment to why he abandoned the facility, the in charge, Richard Wamani, denied the long period of absence, saying he had been away for two weeks due to poor health, adding that he made a communication to that effect.

When The Albertine Journal visited the health centre, last week, Wamani who was absent explained by phone that he was in a garage repairing his motorcycle.

The chairperson for Budongo sub-county, Julius Kyahurwa, accused Wamani of abandoning the facility for his personal businesses.

Gino Abriga, the acting District Health Officer (DHO) for Masindi, said: “We have formally requested for the immediate transfer of the facility in charge and recruitment of more missing staffs since the ministry of health guideline, recommends health centre twos’ to have 9 staff members.”

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