Kiteto — KITETO District Executive Director (DED), Ms Jane Mutagurwa, has expressed concern over the poor conditions some health facilities in the district operate in.
She expressed her disappointment while responding to issues raised from findings during a public dialogue organised by the Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) team in the district over the weekend. This came after revelations that at a facility in Lesoit, nurses use a bench as an examining bed while at Loitepes facility, one of the delivery beds was found at the home of the doctor-in- charge.
"What is the delivery bed doing at the doctor's house? You people have to change," she said. Other findings were that at Songambele facility, nurses sometimes used their own money to buy water for patients. Lack of water is a public health issue increasing the risk of diseases such as cholera outbreaks. Moreover, most of the health facilities visited by the team were closed during working hours for lack of human resources.
At Irkiushi health facility, a drip was found connected while hanged from the window. Citizens complained that every time they visit the facility, either it will be closed during working hours or there are no medicines hence they do not rely on the facility at all. Contributing to the debate, a community member, Mr Assam Konge blamed councillors for not being accountable to the people and asked them to start taking their duties seriously.
"The councillors should use all means at their disposal to improve health services in our communities," he said. The DED promised Kiteto residents to deal with all the issues raised by the team. "We are going to have a full council meeting and l believe by then some of the challenges raised would have been dealt with before our next meeting," she said.
The public dialogue was facilitated by Sikika, a health advocacy organization after conducting training on SAM for almost three weeks. The team, comprised of members from concerned communities, ward councillors, representative from the offices of Ward Executives, health governing committees, religious leaders and local civil society organisations (CSOs).
It was tasked to follow up on issues of quality delivery of service, seek clarifications from service providers and demand for accountability. Participants of the public dialogue included councillors, Ward Executive Officers, District Medical Officer, DED, the SAM team and the general public.
Speaking on behalf of Sikika, the Head of Programmes, Mr Josaphat Mshighati, said he was pleased with the exercise and that the organisation will proceed to other districts like Iramba, Singida Rural, Kondoa, Simanjiro and Mpwapwa.
"We believe that the exercise will bring a lot of change especially in the health sector, we have already seen some positive changes whereas some councillors have made commitments to address all issues in the next full council meeting and citizens have started questioning authorities on the level of service delivery," he said.