PAKWACH. District health officers in the 11 districts of the West Nile region have urged the government to prioritize issues of health in the region if the quality of the population is to improve.
The officials want the government to particularly invest more in research and strengthening of the human resource in hospitals and all health centres in the region.
While presenting a position paper of the health officials during a quarterly review meeting of West Nile Development Association (WENDA) in Pakwach, Dr George Bhoka, who is also the health officer for Adjumani district said prioritizing health would reduce staff turnover in government facilities.
He said with the increasing number of districts in the region also means that there will be an increased number of administrative units and health facilities which all need manpower yet the few available health workers are not willing to work in government facilities because of little pay and poor working conditions.
"Health issue is everyone's responsibility for the region to have a healthy citizen, increase health budget and accord decent working conditions with rightful human personnel", he said.
He said as a result of a shrinking health budget, the region is still grappling with diseases like malaria, intestinal worms, skin diseases and wondered how the region will tackle cancer and high blood pressure with limited logistical support.
Bhoka appealed for evidence-based policy at all levels like respecting the mandates of health officials using the available resources.
He also tasked the districts to work with Non-governmental Organisations to align and harmonise their efforts.
"We want to add value to the health sector in West Nile but we have so many organisations operating in the region without being questioned on what and where they want to operate thereby duplicating services", he said.
As part of requirements for effective coordination, he said there's should be operational decisions and be able to track progress with a coherent network of health services with referral linkages.
In response, the first deputy prime minister, Gen Moses Ali urged the districts to start planning for the next financial year saying the government is clear about working with partners urging the districts to cooperate and share their budget for priority consideration.