Month: June 2012

Residents Cry Foul Over Hospital Staffing

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 Residents Cry Foul Over Hospital Staffing

Cliff Abenaitwe

June 24, 2012

Health service delivery in Bugamba Sub County in Mbarara district will deteriorate if the issue of understaffing at Bugamba health centre IV is not urgently addressed.

The health facility which serves over 3000 people has only 8 health workers out of a total of 49 workers who are supposed to be there. Area residents now say the limited number of health workers is affecting service delivery at this multi-million shillings Centre.  “The health centre opens late and due to the big patients to doctors ratio, some patients go back home without getting treatment” sadly noted Kizza Denis a resident of Byanamira cell in Bugamba adding that this issue has not got adequate attention from the leaders.

This facility has recently acquired a fully furnished operation theatre which now faces a prospect of lying idle for some time as long as the issue of few workers is not solved.

With the rugged terrain of the area which complicates access to the health centre, inadequate staffing is an aggravation of the health complications in the area. “There is nothing that hurts as reaching the hospital after such a long journey only to be told that you cannot be worked on since the workers are tired because they have been working on many patients” Benon Zebikire a resident of kitojjo cell which is about 10 kilometers from hospital said.

People living in such mountains in Bugamba find it hard accessing the health facility

The Public Outcry

With this state of affairs, residents have more often voiced their concerns over this issue but all in vain.

The sub county chairperson Grace Bwire acknowledges the problem. “My office is aware of this problem and we have received many complaints from our people as well. We have forwarded our grievances to the top authorities for redress” he explained adding that they have even notified the area member of parliament Vicent Mujuni Kyamadidi who comes from the nearby village about the issue.

Stake Holders Intervention

In march this year, the coalition for health promotion and social development Uganda (HEPS), a non-governmental organization that seeks to promote health rights and responsibilities launched the HEAR project which is currently under implementation in many sub counties of Mbarara district including Bugamba.

Under this project, people are empowered to know their health rights and responsibilities. “Once people know their health rights, they will take them up or demand for explanations and actions from the people concerned” noted Pilagia Tusiime the project coordinator. “When people speak out with one voice, they are easily heard than we in the NGOs because sometimes we are misunderstood” Rosette Mutambi, the HEPS executive director elaborated during a 2 days community leaders training about health rights and responsibilities held at Bugamba community hall that ended on June 21.

Health Rights for all:Rosette Mutambi (L) and Pelagia Tusiime from HEPS Uganda at the launch of the HEAR project early this year.

Heps on Health Challenges   

The case of Bugamba health centre IV is a small drop in the ocean. All health centres and hospitals in the country are faced with the same problems of under staffing, inadequate medicines and equipment, water and power shortages among others.

However Mutambi attributes all this to poor funding of the health sector. “Our national budget for health is so small. In the past years, the country’s health budget has been around 13 percent of the national budget but it might reduce for this financial year (2012/13) which is unfortunate” Rosette Mutambi sadly noted adding that with such a small budget, health issues like under staffing will persist.

Her voice is an addition to other calls by different stake holders advocating for more funding to the sector for a healthy population as an old adage goes “A healthy nation is a wealthy one”.



Coach, Robben To Blame For Dutch Kharkiv Nightmare

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Bert Van Marwijk and Robben solely to blame for the Denmark loss.

Cliff Abenaitwe, June 10, 2012

With only 24 minutes played at the Metalist Stadium, Denmark found the back of the net thanks to a Michael Krohn-Dehli goal. The lively star-studded Dutch team could not believe the score line reading having dominated the game from the start. To save themselves from the looming infamy, the ‘Oranje’ tried to assemble their fire power but their efforts could not bear any fruit.

It was such a painful defeat as the last time the Dutch lost their opening game at a European Championship was in 1988.

Despite their efforts, I put the blame on the shoulders of Coach Bert van Marwijk and winger Arjen Robben.

The decision to start Robin Van Persie ahead of the qualifiers top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was the greatest mistake van Marwijk made. Obviously van Persie had a great season with Arsenal but his display in the Oranje shirt has been less impressive compared to Huntelaar’s.

The Schalke 04 hit man underlined his top talisman tag with 12 goals from 25 shorts during the Euro 2012 qualifiers and he should have been selected ahead of the Arsenal captain who managed 6 goals in the whole qualifying campaign.

As if this was not enough, Van Marwijk’s woes were simply aggravated by the wasteful Arjen Robben. The former PSV, Chelsea and Madrid winger wasted a number of chances and frustrated his team’s efforts with a selfish display.

May be he thought he was solely responsible for helping the team turn the corner but his selfish display on the right flank nailed the team efforts that many faithfuls wanted him replaced.

All said and done, in Bert van Marwijk, Netherlands has the right man to turn things round but he must learn from the bitter Denmark lesson and his response should be swift if the team is to salvage something from Euro 2012 and the later competitions.

Ugandan Journalists Trained In Health Reporting

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Ugandan Journalists Trained In Health Reporting


Health Journalists who attended the health reporting training at Makerere University School of Public Health annex in Kololo on May28-Friday June 1.

Cliff Abenaitwe

Makerere University School of Public Health (Mak SPH) in partnership with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has taken Centre stage in promotion of accurate health reporting.

In what appears to be the beginning of a great working partnership with the media, Mak SPH has trained over 25 health journalists from different media houses on accurate health reporting, precise interpretation of health research findings, handling and construing statistical data as well as the policy implications of research findings among others.

The 5 days training ( From May 28-June 1,2012) at the School of Public Health Annex in Kololo, covered a number of captivating topics such as the over view of HIV control and prevention in Uganda, identifying credible sources for health information, summarizing research findings, safe male medical circumcision  and epidemiology among others.

The course coordinator Joseph Matovu from the School of public health explained that the main objective of the course was to improve on the skills of journalists in health reporting. “This course is aimed at sensitizing journalists on basic health concepts and build their skills in using them to improve health reporting in Uganda” Matovu explained.

He added that health gurus sometimes are upset by inaccurate media reports about health research findings, inappropriate use of words like prevalence, incidence and rate which among other reasons compelled them to intervene through such training.

Participants expressed utmost happiness about the course and its timing. “For sure, this course has benefited me a lot and I will not repeat the ‘common’ errors I have been committing in health reporting” Olivia Namaloba, a correspondent with UBC radio noted. “Am thankful for this course because i have learnt a lot about epidemiology, interviewing for health reporting, male medical circumcision among many others and I wish this course could be extended to other journalists” a jolly Alomu delux Emmy from Etop radio and paper told this site.

Regarding the continuity of the course, Matovu explained that this is the beginning of ‘things’ and the school together with its partners such as CDC will extend the same training to other journalists at a later time.


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Museveni addressing the press

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