Marburg Virus Outbreak: Kabale Health Workers Allowances Not Being Paid

2729 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Health workers the Marburg virus outbreak in Kabale district claim they have not been paid their allowances though the money was budgeted for and released.

The health workers who have been handling the Marburg Virus outbreak in Kabale district are up in arms over unpaid allowances.
 
The workers have been based at Rushoroza health Centre III in Kabale Municipality since the October 18th outbreak of the Marburg Virus in the district.
 
Now the group of 80 health workers in Kabale is expressing concern over the unpaid allowances saying that the authorities only paid them part of the allowances for only one week.
 
The health workers who talked to our reporter on condition of anonymity because they are not supposed to talk to the press say that the authorities have neglected them. 
 
Moses Kato, a health worker at the Isolation Unit, told Uganda Radio Network (URN) that they were promised 80, 000 shillings as risk allowance and 50,000 shillings as daily allowances making it a total of 130,000 on a daily basis which has never been honoured.
 
Kato says that even the money which was given to them on the pretext that it was for the first week was deducted under unclear circumstances.
 
He says that what is most disheartening is that the district leaders and others on the social mobilization and ambulance teams have been paid yet they were all working together at the time when the epidemic was still a serious threat.
 
Another health worker says that the district leaders also later on changed their position and stopped giving them food at the end of the first week and health workers who complained were asked to leave the isolation Center.
 
The health workers blame the district Marburg task force led by Kabale resident district commissioner Mathew Moses Elayo , district chairperson Patrick Besigye  and the director of health services Kabale district Dr. Patrick Tusiime  for deliberately letting them go without payment.
 
 The workers also want the authorities to pronounce themselves on the matter and let them know when their money will be paid.
 
The chairperson of the Marburg task force in Kabale Mathew Moses Elayo who also doubles as the resident district commissioner says that the matter is being handled but is not sure when the money is going to be given to the workers.
 
Kabale district chairperson Patrick Besigye claims that the health workers were given their allowances for the first week in cash. Later the district authorities resolved to pay them through  their respective bank accounts in order to avoid the inconveniences of handling the money in form of cash.
 
He says that the delay must have been as the result of the existing inter -bank arrangements but says that their money was budgeted for and will be given to them saying that there is no need for alarm.
 
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The chairperson further urged the locals to always be on alert as the disease is not yet wiped out saying that the situation should not be taken for granted as the disease can bounce back in the district.
 
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However the Kabale district chief administrative Frank Ntaho, says that those who are supposed to be paid will receive their money. He further revealed that he signed the checks on November 14th and expects the money to be on the accounts of the workers by Saturday, November 17th.
 
He also denies the claims by the health workers that their allowances were reduced by the authorities adding that there is no way  they could reduce the allowances without the knowledge of the workers.
 
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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.