Mpigi — Health workers on night shifts at Buwama Health Centre III, in Mpigi District are blaming their perennial absence from night duty on stray dogs that scare them away.
According to Dr Godfrey Kakaire, the officer in-charge of the health centre, the stray dogs move in a pack of five to eight. He said they loiter in the area from 7pm every day.
"Stray dogs enter our compound freely and they disturb the health workers on night shift. This is because we lack a perimeter fence. We're in a centre of the town where there [dogs] have many sources of bones which they feed on," Dr Kakaire said on Monday
Dr Kakaire says they wanted to kill the stray dogs by poisoning, but we were blocked by town council leaders.
"They [leaders] told us not to kill them but wait for the money in the next financial year to erect a perimeter fence around the health centre," he said.
Mr Joseph Ssempijja, the area district councillor said patients are also shunning the health facility at night because they fear to be bitten by the dogs.
Dogs transmit rabies to their victims and treatment is between Shs150, 000 and Shs300, 000 for a complete dose.
Mr Ssempijja blamed the increase of stray dogs in the area on dog owners who cannot afford to feed them.
The situation at the health facility came to light after Mpigi Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms Rosemary Byabashaija questioned why medical workers at the health centre who are assigned to work at night fail to show up.
The residents had earlier reported to the RDC that health workers at the health centre always report late and leave early.
Ms Byabashaija says she has since asked Mpigi deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Jack Byaruhanga to find money and erect a perimeter fence to tighten security at the health centre.
The health centre receives 2,000 out patients and handles an average of 80 deliveries every month.
Apart from stray dogs, Buwama Health Centre is also faced with myriad of challenges ranging from perennial drug stock outs, insufficient delivery beds and mattresses and lack of running water.