Uganda: Health Workers Lay Down Tools Over Lack of Water At Health Centre

Moroto — Medical personnelattached to Kakingol Health Centre III in Katikekile Sub County, Moroto District on Monday laid down their tools protesting lack of clean water at the facility, leaving patients helpless.

Ms Grace Angolere, one of the health workers said for the last two years, they have been sharing water with animals, putting their lives in danger.

"There is no water at the health facility, sometimes we send patients to go and fetch water from the river which is two kilometres from here, to be able to clean the health centre," she said.

Ms Angolere added that sometimes in the maternity ward, mothers after delivering, they just cover blood with sand because of lack of water to clean the ward.

Ms Betty Aketch, another nurse said they will only return to work when water is connected to the health facility.

"Life at Kakingol health centre is difficult, we survive on dirty water that we share with animals and even getting that water it's very difficult because of the long distance," she said.

Mr Timothy Okiror, the health in charge at Kakingol said they were using rain water but because of the prolonged draught, all water tanks have dried up.

"Patients and more especially expectant mothers come with water from their homes, but it's still not enough," he said.

Mr Michael Akol, the area LCIII chairperson said: "Despite our efforts to report the matter to relevant authorities, no action has been taken."

The Moroto District Health Officer, Mr Andrew Ilukol, said the staff have the right to access clean water and they were right to lay down tools to save their lives.

"We have talked about this issue and its now beyond us. Much as we (the medical people) are trying our best to treat people, we can't do much without clean water," he said.

In September last, after a public outcry about the same issue, a team from the ministry of water led by the Assistant Commissioner Internal Audit, Mr Charles Oryema visited Kakingol Health Centre III and promised to provide clean within three months, but not action has ever taken place.

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