Uganda to Recruit 2,400 Health Workers

Dr. Rugunda in a chat with medical workers at Jinja hospital on Saturday (Photo by PMPU)

Hardly a year as Ugandans prepare for the 2016 general elections, story the Bishop of Rwenzori Diocese Rt. Rev. Bishop Reuben Kisembo Amooti  has banned all fundraising functions in all the Anglican churches in his diocese.

Bishop Kisembo who describes the 2016 general elections in Uganda as “very tough”, ordered all Reverends and Lay Leaders not to organize any fundraising in the year 2015-2016.

He said, “Such fundraising functions will promote divisionism among our Christians. Our people may be misled by some candidates who inject in millions of money to bribe the electorate during these fundraisings.”

This, according to the bishop, “gives the opportunity to the wealthy but incapable candidates to win the elections leaving out the capable, committed and service delivery oriented candidates with little money.”

The tough speaking bishop said, “I strongly warn my flock against accepting bribes. I ask you to shun the self-seeking candidates who move house to house giving electorate cash in order to vote them. We are facing tough times ahead.”

He instead advised Ugandans to have focus and elect capable leaders capable of lobbying funds to provide and improve on services such as clean water, electricity, good roads and hospitals among others.

“Unless Ugandans style up and elect visionary and hardworking leaders who spearhead development, the country’ prosperity is going nowhere,” charged the man of God.

The Bishop was preaching to Christians at St Andrews Ihaani C.O.U in East Division, Fort Portal Municipality on Sunday.

The Bishop’s statements came at a time when NRM leaders were moving around Rwenzori region mobilising support for Museveni’s sole candidature in the 2016 elections.

The remarks are likely to galvanise support against plans to endorse Museveni as the flag-bearer of the NRM party.

Kisembo recently made eyebrow-raising remarks at the installation of Rubona archdeacon, Enock Rwakibaale in Kabarole.

He said “every person has a right to contest for any political post in the country, “giving an example of top NRM leaders who were fighting former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi over his alleged presidential bid.

“Every person has a right to contest for any political position whether he is rich or poor. I don’t see the reason for harassing such people like Mbabazi. A rich person may come and offer millions to the church but fails to work and the poor who gives shs20,000 becomes a good leader and influential in the community,” said Kisembo.

“Amama Mbabazi has a right to contest for presidency come 2016 if he has picked interest,” Kisembo added.
Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has revealed that Government is planning to recruit 2, generic 400 health workers this financial year 2014/15, what is ed as part of the wider strategy to improve health service delivery in the country.

Rugunda said Government will also ensure that health workers are made available by scaling up the pre-service education and training as well as providing incentives for attraction and retention of the medical staff in the service across the country.

The Premier made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the Uganda Medical Association annual scientific conference at the Source of the Nile hotel in Jinja on Saturday.

“Government is committed to collaborating with you to improve health service delivery and also facilitate the attainment of a good standard of health care in the country,” said Rugunda.

The Premier said significant progress has been made in the remodelling and rehabilitation of health infrastructure, including supply of new equipment at various levels, adding that medicines and health supplies procurement and distribution had greatly improved.

The Uganda Health System report for the year 2011 showed that Uganda spends US$33 per capita on health, about the same as its low income country peers but much lower than the regional average.

In contrast to the region, public financing of health in Uganda is low at 22.6 percent of total health expenditures (THE) and there is consensus that the health sector is underfinanced and cannot deliver the Uganda National Minimum Health Care Package (UNMHCP) to all, highlighting the need to use limited resources for pro-poor and essential services.

Most Ugandans now live within five kilometres of a health center.

Researchers say despite this progress in service availability, significant challenges remain to improve the quality of service delivery and address continuing health status issues such as high infant and maternal mortality.

Primary health care remains difficult for some to access, and quality of care is inconsistent. The referral system is not functional, and patients often ignore secondary or tertiary care due to the high costs involved.

Stock outs of drugs and supplies and inadequate HRH availability impact service delivery. Lack of financial and human resources adversely impacts regulation and quality control. Many services, including those related to HIV and tuberculosis (TB), are not well integrated into the general health delivery system and continue to be provided vertically.

Evidence-based medicine is also not consistently followed and facility-based quality improvement initiatives, while they exist, have not been institutionalized uniformly.

The Uganda health system also does not invest sufficiently in prevention and public health services to minimize unhealthy behaviours that lead to increases in both non-communicable and infectious diseases.

However, Uganda has significantly improved access to maternal and child health care as well as the country’s response to HIV/AIDS.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund), USAID, and other donor programming has led to increased availability of HIV prevention, outreach, and treatment services.

Gov’t steps

Rugunda said Uganda is now free of Ebola and Marburg, adding that the country must remain vigilant to avoid any cases of these hemorrhagic fevers which the country had effectively controlled.

Rugunda challenged health centres across the country at all levels to embrace water harvesting technology to avert water crises at health facilities.

He also urged members of the Uganda Medical Association to work together as team to achieve their objectives, promising that Government will support the resolutions of this conference which included transforming Uganda Medical Association into Uganda Medical Society and support for the National health insurance Bill.

The Private Members Bill on the establishment of the Uganda Medical Society will soon be tabled in Parliament by the Kinkizi East Member of Parliament Dr. Chris Baryomunsi.

The President of Uganda Medical Association, Dr. Nathan Kenya-Mugisha expressed gratitude to the NRM Government for improving the health infrastructure in the country, adding that Government should now focus on improving the remuneration and motivation of health workers.

The conference was also addressed by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Daudi Migereko, LCV Chairperson for Jinja District, Fredrick Ngobi Gume and the Jinja Resident District Commissioner, Gulume Balyainho.

The three day conference by the Uganda Medical Association as they marked 50 years of existence was organized under the theme: Challenges in health care, the role of Leadership.

The conference addressed issues affecting health service delivery in the country such as medical ethics and professionalism, motivation of health workers for effective health service delivery and the current scientific trends and developments in medical practice among other areas.

Dr. Rugunda also visited Jinja hospital where he was led on a guided tour of the hospital’s intensive care unit by the Hospital Director, Dr Osinde Michael.

He assured the hospital leadership that Government will address the man power gap at the intensive care unit of the hospital.


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