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UGANDA: Shortage of health workers hits Bududa district

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By Leonard Mukooli

UGANDA, Bududa – There is an acute shortage of medical workers that has hit Bududa district putting the lives of hundreds of patients at a greater risk.

The Bududa district health officer Dr. Imelda Tumuhairwe says the staffing level at the hospital is far below the national average.

She says currently the staffing level is at 69% and attributes this to the limited wage bill makes it difficult in attracting and retaining staff.

“Inadequate accommodation for staff and the hard to reach terrain makes construction of facilities very hard and expensive and this is coupled with low performance of maternal child health indicators and poor latrine coverage thus making it hard to attract better qualified specialist into the health sector of the district”. Dr. Imelda said.

She says the available medical workers are forced stretch because of the high number of patients and extra responsibilities yet they are not motivated for the extra effort due to the constrained budget of the sector and this compromises the quality of services being offered to the public.

The hospital senior administrator Mr. Hamza Kabale notes that of the most affected department in the health sector of the district the ultra sound department where the staff left for further studies but up to date he has not come back.

“so the X-Ray now is being operated by a member of staff from another department if not patients are referred to Mbale regional referral hospital”.

The sector is now facing a lot of challenges with the fact that most of the health are now being facilities are being managed by unqualified staff.

In addition to lack of sufficient staff Bududa Hospital comes with the fact that most of staff prefer staying in Mbale where there is better living condition or even abandoned the hospital for greener pastures elsewhere in the excuse of study leaves.

The Bududa district chairperson confirmed that on many occasion, he has visited various health facilities, the in charge staff don’t came to the station of work as its required in their letter of appointment.

“in fact when I visited of one the facility in the district, I found out that the staff do sign in their register book for two weeks in advance. They always want to be in workshops where they sign allowance not their work station. This habit leave the general hospital filled up and staff there are overwhelmed with a lot of work”

The 100-bed hospital that was established in 1969 serves hundreds of residents from Bududa, Manafwa, Sironko, Namisindwa and part of the neighboring Kenya in Lwakaka.

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