Residents Reject UX 617M Maternity Ward Project, Demand For OPD

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Residents of Sikuda sub-county in Busia district have opposed the construction of a maternity ward at Sikuda health center III, saying the money should instead finance the construction of an Outpatient Department-OPD.  

Recently, Busia district local government received Shillings 617 million from the Health Ministry to construct a maternity ward at Sikuda health center III. Part of the money is supposed to finance the construction of a pit latrine, Placenta and external pits.

However, residents have rejected the move, saying there is another maternity ward at the facility that is not functional. They argue that it will be a waste of government funds to construct another maternity ward at the same health center.   

According to residents, they want the money diverted to the construction of a good Outpatient Department-OPD, staff houses, placenta pit and perimeter fence. Rashid Sideebe, the Sikuda Village LC I Chairperson, says that they did not request for a maternity ward and want the district authorities to allocate the money to what they asked for.

Fred Bwire, a resident says that the decision to try and construct a second maternity ward at the facility is a sign of corruption. He says it seems district officials want to embezzle the funds and account for it using the newly built maternity ward, which they have failed to commission.     

Juma Yekowa Efumbi, another resident says that an OPD because the old one is too tiny and can’t accommodate more than 6 people.

Winnie Nekesa, an enrolled nurse in-charge Sikuda health center III says that they expected government to at least construct for them a modern OPD instead of maternity ward because there’s a new building, which is not in use. 

Geoffrey Wandera, the Busia District  LC V Chairperson, says that the newly built maternity ward was not commissioned due to shoddy work.  He says the building has developed cracks and poorly painted among others, adding that they have asked the contractor to rectify the works.  

He says that once completed, the facility can be put to use by another department of the health center. Wandera says that the decision to construct a modern maternity ward at the health center is meant to ensure the health center gets standard facilities required for a health center III because it is currently operating in the old buildings.

Mathew Tusubira, the Busia Deputy Resident District Commissioner has appealed to Sikuda sub-county members to stay calm and allow district authorities to handle the matter. 

He also asked residents to help in the supervision of the new project to avoid repetition of shoddy work that may lead to wastage of government funds.

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