ARUA. The residents of Arivu sub-county in Vurra county, Arua district have called upon the government of Uganda to consider upgrading Bondo Health Centre (HC) III to HCIV status for better service delivery.
The locals said Bondo HCIII is currently overwhelmed by the number of patients seeking for treatment and as a result, many end up not being attended to, due to inadequate number of staff and drugs at the facility.
“People coming for services at Bondo HCIII these days are very many yet there are few health workers to attend to them and that it why, we want it to be upgraded to HCIV status. When upgraded, I know the government will recruit more health workers and also stock enough drugs at the health facility,” said Felix Adomati, a resident of Alivu village, Pajuru parish, Arivu sub-county.
The concern was raised during a community dialogue organized by Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and MAYANK Anti-Corruption Coalition at Arivu sub-county headquarters on Monday.
The dialogue meeting attended by Arua district leaders, sub-county, opinion, and religious leaders, and the locals was aimed at strengthening performance and accountability through community engagement (SPACE) as a project in Arua district.
Mr Ernest Enzama, the Executive Director of MAYANK Anti-Corruption Coalition said the project is co-funded by European Union (EU) and the government of Uganda through Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU).
But during the meeting, Adomati appealed to the government of Uganda through the district leadership to consider upgrading Bondo HCIII to HCIV status.
“Upgrade Bondo HCIII to HCIV with a medical officer because we need better health services. Kuluva Hospital is too far for us (the people of Arivu) and it is barred by a hilly terrain so, it is not easily accessible for people especially, expectant mothers. Besides, Kuluva Hospital is a private facility and majority of our people can’t afford its services,” Adomati remarked.
Mr Nelson Aleti, the Arivu sub-county vice chairperson equally said there is need to upgrade Bondo HCIII if people living in the sub-county and its neighbouring areas are to get better health services.
“Bondo HCIII should be upgraded because our neighbours from Uleppi and Logiri sub-counties are also getting drugs from this same facility. Then, the distance from Bondo to Kuluva and Arua regional referral Hospital is a bit long and it needs transport which our poor communities can’t afford,” Aleti said.
While responding to the concern, Mr Paul Bishop Drileba, the Acting Arua district health officer (DHO) said Bondo HCIII is slowly being upgraded to a HCIV status.
He noted that in 2016, Arua district council recommended Bondo HCIII to be upgraded only that the minutes of the council meeting were not forwarded to the central government.
Drileba, however, observed that officials from the Ministry of Health recently came on ground and also recommended that Bondo HCIII should be upgraded to a HCIV status on condition that the land it sits on must be titled.
“The demand to upgrade Bondo HCIII is there but what is only required is we need to fulfil the policy guidelines of what is required such that government can be in position to support the demands of the people. One of the key policy issues is the land tittle to upgrade the health facility,” said Mr Simon Ababo, the Arua district Assistant Chief Administrative Officer.
Ababo commended KAS and MAYANK Anti-Corruption Coalition for the initiative, saying it bridges the gap between the government at the community members.
The other concerns raised by the locals that attracted the attention of the leaders include; police bond being granted at a cost, the unfair beneficiary selection under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) program, claims for associated accountability issues in the management of land registration process and failure to regularly maintain roads already opened in the sub-county among other issues.