PAKWACH. Pakwach district local government leaders on Thursday asked the coordinators of Sarah Bakhit Foundation to clearly spell the terms under which an ambulance they seemingly donated to the district would be used.
The leaders were thrown into confusion due to the lack of a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and yet the ambulance had the logo of both the local government and that of Sarah Bakhit.
During the interface with the foundation’s Coordinator at the district headquarters, the officials also said the clarifications would help them exert their management mandate once specified.
Mr Swaib Toko, the resident district commissioner (RDC) argued that the mere fact that Pakwach district” is labelled on the Ambulance would clearly show that it is managed by the local government.
Toko said on the contrary, the logo of Sarah Bakhit on the ambulance also shows a political statement that other members of the community may find discriminatory.
"There is a political implication of this that may arise if a family disagrees with you or doesn’t support you which is likely to be political discrimination", Toko said.
But responding to the RDC’s comments, Mr Francis Odongo, the coordinator Sara Bahkit Foundation said the idea of buying an Ambulance is to handle referral cases and other emergencies in the community at a reduced cost.
He asserted that much as the director of the foundation intends to aspire as Pakwach district woman member of parliament, the ambulance services are to be accessed by all.
"What we want is the district to recognise it as a service to the community, we are here to serve every one regardless of their political belonging”, Odongo said.
Ms Jessica Draru, the Pakwach district health assistant in charge of maternal health asked the owners to employ trained health personnel capable of handling referral cases.
"Seats in the Ambulance should be comfortable for the patient, with a trained driver ready to handle patients in case of bleeding to avoid death on transit”, Draru stressed.
However, Mr Charles Muswa, the deputy chief administrative officer Pakwach urged the owners of the Ambulance to formalise the modality
"As district let's have a clear memorandum of understanding spelling our mandates to avoid confusion from the community. Politically the community may say we have swindled money to service the Ambulance”, Muswa complained.
The district chairperson Mr Robert Omito Steen said they have no problem with recognising the ambulance but warned about exploitation that may tarnish the image of the district.
He called for a quick fix to the impasse so that the services would supplement the other two Ambulances set to be donated to the district by UNICEF in April.
The district is grappling with referral challenges due to absence of ambulances. The last donation of an ambulance was in 2011 by former Area Member of Parliament Mr Fred Jachan Omach and has since been grounded at Wadelai health centre.