Big Story: Medical Workers Abandon Health Facility for Farming in Amuru District

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Medical workers at Otici Health Centre II in Guru-guru Sub County in Amuru District have reportedly abandoned work for farming. 

Bosco Ocira, the LC I Chairperson Otici Village who also doubles as the Health Center Management Committee Chairperson, says the facility is currently operating partially due to the absence of many health workers.  

As a result, Ocira says patients travel to Guru-guru health Centre II, which is 8 kilometers away while expectant mothers travel for a distance of about 18 to 35 kilometers for antenatal care services. He blames the mess on the absence of the Health center in charge who he says has been away for almost two months.  

“You can’t imagine that drugs are expiring here and they dump them when patients are looking for these drugs from neighbouring health facilities,” he said.   

Margret Acen, the Ogom /Guru Guru Parish LC III Woman councillor, says the problems at the health facility have persisted for two years. She says the problems worsened when the only midwife at the facility left for further studies in 2017, which exposes expectant mothers to danger. 

She explains that prior to the departure of the midwife; the health center was handling 10 deliveries each week.  “We are not saying that our health workers shouldn’t have gardens. We are saying it’s a problem when they abandon patients for their personal work either on the farm or private clinic,” Acen said.  

“You can see for yourself how bushy the place is. Secondly, we don’t have a midwife for antenatal services for nearly three years and those in need now go to Paboo, Lacor and Ober Abic while others go to traditional birth attendants but I don’t know the government is doing”      

Twenty-two-year-old Concy Angee, a mother of two children who is expecting her third child, says that she has already spent Shillings 80,000 on transport to Lacor Hospital and Paboo Health Centre III to access antenatal care services.    

Translation:

“If you come here, they will tell you that the midwife has gone for study which forces have to access antenatal care in other health facilities and we are to look for transport, besides, they will tell you that the drugs aren’t there and you are to buy”   

On Friday last week, the health center was under lock and key by 1:40 pm. No patient had visited the facility according to the registration book. The health Center in Charge, Richard Opio was not in his office. Attempts by this reporter to reach him on his known mobile number for two days did not yield results, as the calls could not go through.  

A support staff at the Health Center confirmed to URN on the condition of anonymity the problems at the facility. He revealed that outpatient attendance has reduced from 70 patients each day to less than 20 patients. 

“We used to handle over 10 deliveries but the department is defunct for two years,” the source added.  He blamed the residents for stealing all the solar panels from the facility, adding that medical workers do not have access to clean water and lack food. 

There are nine health workers deployed at Otici Health Centre II including the midwife who left for further studies. Michael Lakony, the Amuru LC V chairperson told our reporter that District is not aware of problems affecting the health facility. 

“If it is true that the health facility isn’t functional then that will require punitive action against the culprits,” he said.                                                                                                                     


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