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Absence of Staff Quarters in Govt Health Centres Irks Masaka Leaders

Francis Winnyi, a Councillor representing Mazinga Parish to Buwunga sub-county says that the absence of staff quarters at Mazinga government health Centre; the only facility in their area, has rendered health workers inefficient because patients cannot be attended to in time.

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Leaders and residents in Masaka district have expressed concern over the lack of staff quarters in government health centres in the area. This, they say, compromises the quality of health services. 

Masaka district has six governments lower health center II’s that include; Zzimwe and Buyaga in Kyannamukaaka sub county, Kitunga and Kamwozi Health Centers II in Kyesiiga sub county, Mazinga Health Centre II in Buwunga sub county and Lambu Health Centre II in Bukakata sub county. 

According to locals, despite being the closest service delivery points, the facilities are not serving to their expectations largely due to a lack of reliable staff at the stations.  

Francis Winnyi, a Councillor representing Mazinga Parish to Buwunga sub-county says that the absence of staff quarters at Mazinga government health Centre; the only facility in their area, has rendered health workers inefficient because patients cannot be attended to in time. 

He explains that they are also finding it hard to hold the health workers accountable for their inefficiencies, thereby appealing to the government to consider improving the standards of lower-level health units especially in the rural areas and strategically help to address the problem of patient backlogs in higher health facilities.

//Cue in; “eddwaliro lyaffe… 

Cue out…okusomoozebwa ku ddwaliro.”// 

Janifer Nakalema, a resident of Mazinga says that patients who are recommended for regular follow-up are usually inconvenienced because they cannot get the services, especially in the morning and evening hours. As a result, she says, many are forced into moving long distances on self-referral to either Buwunga Health Center III or Masaka Hospital.

Nakalema prefers that the health centre is also supported to offer maternity services to expectant mothers who currently have limited options because the midwives cannot be readily accessed especially at night. 

Jane Francis Kizito, the female councillor representing Kamwozi and Buyaga parishes to Kyesiiga sub-county says his constituents that are served by Kamwozi health centre II are also affected as health workers use the excuse of staff quarters as justification for their chronic absenteeism from work. 

According to her, the health centre structures, medical equipment, and drugs are at risk of vandalism and theft because they are left with nobody to watch over them at night and over the weekends.

//Cue in; “tulina okusomoozebwa…  

Cue out….batuyambe batukwatireko.”//  

Martin Ssenkeezi, the Buwunga sub-county chairperson says that they have noticed authorities at Masaka district local government about the urgency of constructing staff quarters at lower-level health facilities. He says they are also mobilizing communities to contribute materials and others resources to respond to the problem as they wait for the government to come in and rescue the situation.

But the 2021/22 Masaka district approved work plan did not provide for the construction of staff quarters as any of the health centres, it budgeted for 13 million shillings to construct only one Outpatient Department-OPD ward at Kitunga Health Centre II in Kyesiiga sub-county. 

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