Minister Orders Transfer of All Medical Workers from Budadiri Health Center

3888 Views Sironko, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Josephine Nambafu, the representative of Persons with Disabilities says the affected health workers abandoned the health center two weeks ago on the instigation of the RDC and CAO.

Sarah Acheng Opendi, the State Minister in Charge of Primary Health Care has ordered for the immediate transfer of 48 health workers from Budadiri Health Center IV in Sironko district. The decision follows complaints by residents against the health workers for theft of government drugs and laxity.

 
Residents expressed their concerns in a meeting convened by the minister on Monday to end the stalemate over the interdiction of the Budadiri Health Center in charge Dr. Joseph Bill Otuko. Opendi rushed to Budadiri after last week's protests by residents against the interdiction of Dr. Otuko for alleged embezzlement.

 
During the meeting, residents asked the minister to cause the transfer of all the health workers from the Health Center saying they had lost trust in them. They accused the district authorities particularly Joseph Lomongin, the Chief Administrative Officer and District Health Officer Dr. Peter Nabende of conniving with the affected medical workers to steal government drugs from the health center.
 

They also accused the two officials and Moses Kigai Wamoto, the Sironko Resident District Commissioner of inciting the health workers against the Health Center in Charge Dr. Otuku, which has affected service delivery.
 
 Josephine Nambafu, the representative of Persons with Disabilities says the affected health workers abandoned the health center two weeks ago on the instigation of the RDC and CAO.


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Mutwalib Gudoi, another resident blames the district authorities for all the anomalies at Budadiri health center.


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A delegation led by Dr. Diana Atwine, the Director of the State House Drug and Health Services Monitoring Unit visited the health center on Monday and only found three volunteer nurses with Dr. Otuko attending to patients.
 
 This prompted Opendi to order the transfer of all medical workers from the facility with the exception of Dr. Otuko. She directed the CAO to ensure new health workers are posted to the Health Center immediately to start work.


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She also directed Police to conduct a search in clinics around Budadiri Town council for stolen government drugs.

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She said the audit report of the health center also implicates all the 48 health workers for habitual absenteeism. She faults the Chief Administrative Officer for singling out Dr. Otuko and interdicting him leaving the rest to go free.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.