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Expectant Mothers Pin Health Workers for Extortion

Kasifa Gudoyi, another mother, says many mothers are left without option but to run to TBAs who charge them Shillings 1000 since they cant afford the money demanded by the health workers.
Expectant mothers in Bugitimwa Sub County in Sironko district have pinned health workers at Bugitimwa Health Center III of extortion prompting many of them to resort to Traditional Birth Attendants-TBAs. 

Speaking at a community dialogue held at Bugitimwa Health center III on Tuesday, Aidah Mugide, one of the expectant mothers, said the midwives and health workers charge them between Shillings 6000 and 10,000 whenever they visit the facility before attending to them.

She said besides the money, each expectant mother is asked to pay Shillings 5,000 for Mama Kits, which are meant to be handed out free of charge in government facilities. Kasifa Gudoyi, another mother, says many mothers are left without option but to run to TBAs who charge them Shillings 1000 since they can't afford the money demanded by the health workers. 

Moses Gidagwe, a resident of the areas says he lost his 10year-old- son to malarial last month after a medical worker asked him for Shillings 10,000/= before attending to him, which he didn't have. The Health Center in Charge, Innocent Nagasuka dismissed claims that health workers at the facility extort money from patients. 

He however, said since the health facility serves patients from five neighboring sub counties like Masaba and Zesui among others each day compared to the quantity of drugs and mama kits they receive, they ask some of them to buy medical supplies outside when they run out.

 

Charles Namugowa, the chairperson Bugitimwa Health Centre III Management Committee claimed it was the first time he was hearing about the extortions. He urged patients to report to his office whenever health workers demand for money, saying all services at government health centers are free of charge. 

James Nandala, the Bugitmwa Sub County LC III chairperson condemned the extortion and promised to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion. The Sironko Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Peter Gidongo told residents that all services at government health facilities are free of charge. 

He cautioned mothers against running to TBAs, saying they operate in unhygienic places, which exposes them to dangers. Gidongo called for patience from the patients and promised to team up with the District Health Officer to investigate the matter and take appropriate action against the implicated health workers.

 

According to the last report released by Sironko District Health Department last year, only six out 10 expectant mothers go for antenatal care at health facilities. The remaining number visits Traditional Birth Attendants.