Health

PREGNANT MOTHERS STRUGGLE TO ACCESS HEALTH SERVICES

By Christopher Nyeko

GULU: A thousand of residents in the annexed area to Gulu City are struggling to access health services as their Village Health Teams {VHTs} have stayed for one year without receiving medical surplus from Gulu city.

The majority of the embattled people are young children and pregnant mothers.
On the 1st of July 2020, Gulu Municipality was elevated to a city status thus Omoro and Gulu districts were carved into Gulu city.

The VHTs from the annexed area during an interview with ugreports.com revealed that their former district had stopped supplying them with medical surplus for one year.

“When we demanded for medical surplus from Gulu city health department, we were told that our data have not yet been entered into the city system thus the city cannot disburse to us”. They explained.

According to the Uganda health policy, VHTs are mandated to have the medical surplus such as amoxicillin, coartem, zinc and oral rehydration solution and RDT test kits for malaria, medical form, sanitizer, hand cloves, register book and referral book as they are situated as health center one.

These surpluses are given to enable them embark on handling the emergency health conditions including malaria, fever, dehydration or convulsion arising from their village before referring the clients to the hospital.

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Betty Alanyo the VHT supervisor in Patuda parish revealed that over 40 VHTs who are operating in the two parishes curved out from Omoro are now helpless.

Kweyo and Patuda parishes have over ten cells and are struggling since the area VHTs have not been supplied with medical surplus for one year.

“Most of our clients who constantly sought treatment from us are children under the age of five, pregnant mothers with the most presented cases are malaria and fever” she disclosed.

Alanyo also revealed that as VHTs they are left helpless to patients who sought medication thus they have resorted to counseling and referring them elsewhere.

Nancy Acaa the parish supervisor for Patuda parish revealed that before they were curved, Omoro was supplying them timely.

She further revealed that after being curved out from Omoro, they were to be supplied by Layibi Techo health centre III but in vain.

Acaa confirmed that in April and November, over 800 children under the age of five missed deworming tablets.

She added that the numbers of the parents who are seeking help for their children has upsurge as the cases of warm related diseases are now common among the children.

Margaret Langech 36, a mother of four, and a resident of Owak said that earlier this month her two and half years old child got ill she sought help from her VHT but she was referred to St Philip Health Centre III without being given any form of medicine as it used to be.

”I spent over Shs32,000 to access the health services in Gulu city because my home is over 10 kilometres from the health center,” she asserted.

David Onencan the secretary of health and education Gulu city confirmed that the VHTs from the annexed area have been demoralized since their process of transmission to the city has taken long.

”The city council is working on the transmission process and rectification of the list of the civil servants in the annex area, and the issue will be solved,” he assured.

Meanwhile Michael Rubanga the Gulu city principal health inspector confirmed that VHTs from the annex area have missed medical surplus because their data and details were not in the city system.

”The list for VHTs is with the city, and they going to start reorganizing them thus provide them with the medical surplus required and orienting them through training,” the health specialist assured.

Rubanga however advised them to refer the patient to the hospital if they are incapacitated.

Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us? Email us at editorial@ugreports.com

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