Kwania District Fails to Absorb UGX 900m for Recruitment of Health Workers

Despite the shortage of health workers, the district has failed to utilize the funds which could help provide high-quality health services.

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Kwania District Local Government has failed to absorb 900 Million Shillings that was meant for the recruitment of health workers. 

According to the budget breakdown obtained from the district finance department, the district council approved 2.5 Billion Shillings for the recruitment and payment of health workers’ salaries, however, only 1.5 Billion Shillings was utilized.

Despite the shortage of health workers, the district has failed to utilise the funds which could help provide high-quality health services.

Dr Moses Ebong, the Kwania District Health Officer says that the district has returned to the treasury, 900 million shillings after failing to recruit an additional 150 health workers. Currently, the district has 465 medical workers.

He says returning the money to the consolidated fund has left a gap in human resources uncovered, hence compromising service delivery.

"The World Health Organization standard ratio of 2.3 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 1,000 people but some of our facilities are running with less than five medical workers, there is an urgent need of employing more health workers due to changing health needs, such as maternal health services for people living with HIV", he said.

Maxwell Odic, a resident of Olami A cell in Ikwera ward Aduku Town Council expressed disappointment with the district for returning such huge sums of money to the treasury. He said there are many unemployed and educated youths who could take up jobs in the district.

However, the Kwania District Chairman Geoffrey Alex Ogwal Adyebo faulted the government for delaying conducting elections in the newly created district. He explains that the interim government was unable to conduct massive recruitment of staff which affected service delivery.

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Albina Awor, the Kwania Chief Administrative Officer blamed this on the late releases by the central government.

"When you look at the different timelines by local governments and the Central government, all their activities depend on releases.

But then there is a routine delay to the release of funds by the treasury and yet MDAs cannot start work without money”, Awor said.

Last year, the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) decried the late release of funds from the central government. ULGA noted that most of the funds from the central government are released late and at times towards the end of the financial year, which makes them hard to be utilized.    

They say that when funds are not utilized by the end of a given financial year, they are required to send them back to the consolidated fund and make fresh requests for them, a process he said is time-wasting.