The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, has warned that government’s move to close health centre IIs will increase maternal and infant mortality rates in Uganda.
Speaking at the official launch of the Busoga Tondhenka SACCO in Buyende District at Igalaza Primary School on Sunday, 04th December 2016 the Speaker asked Government to reconsider the decision.
“I don’t agree with closure of Health Center IIs. The ministry thinks that all people live at least 5km from the health unit, which is not the case in most remote areas in Uganda,” she said.
The Ministry of Health decided to scale down and eventually phase out health centre IIs to redirect investments towards upper levels of health facilities. Officials from the Ministry explained that health centre IIs are going to be replaced by two parish health extension workers.
The Ministry plans that sub-counties with health centre IIs will be elevated to health centre III status. The health centre IIs infrastructure will then be used by the health extension workers.
Although the government had thought of scaling down these Health Centers due to the failure to raise human resource capacity to sustain them, Kadaga advised that the government should instead embark on upgrading the current Health Centre IIs and empower them to handle more complex ailments because their closure will worsen the health care system.
“I think that expectant women from the countryside should be using these HC IIs as their first point of contact because the next administrative level is distant,” she said.
Kadaga also went ahead to explain that these centres provide the first level of interaction between the formal health sector and communities.
She said that with the enrolled comprehensive nurse in charge, the centres provide outpatient care, community outreach services and linkages with the village health team.
Hon. Veronica Babirye Kadogo (Buyende) added that Health Centre II are very important for mothers to access antenatal care and immunization services.
Speaking at the same function, the LC3 Chairperson of Kagulu Sub county Mr. Steven Malagala, asked Government to send more teachers and doctors to Buyende District because the sectors are understaffed and service delivery is a challenge.
Hon. Geoffrey Dhamuzungu (Budiope East) in addition, asked the Speaker to follow up with the presidential pledge of tarmacking the roads.
Busoga Tondheka SACCO is a cooperative saving and credit society that was founded in 2012. It started in Owino Market and now stands on patronship of the Rt. Hon Kadaga and Hon. Isanga Musumba as its Legal Affairs Advisor.