Health watchdog starts nationwide probe
Publish Date: Oct 07, 2009
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By Conan Businge

A SPECIAL unit to monitor drugs and health services has started work in various districts.The unit, which was created recently by State House, will evaluate the performance of all health centres in the country.

The probe team, headed by Dr. Diana Atwine, has already visited several health centres in Mityana, Nakaseke, and Luwero districts.

The team will look into the way drugs are ordered, received and distributed in the health centres. It will also assess the availability of drugs and service delivery.

Initial focus will be on checking if the drugs reach the patients. “We shall begin with the drug distribution chain. But we are not neglecting service delivery,” said Dr. Atwine.

“The Government spends a lot of money procuring drugs and funding health care services, but there are so many complaints of poor health services and lack of drugs.”

Some of the drugs are stolen by medical workers, the team leader said. “We cannot continue allowing drugs to be stolen from health centres.”

The unit is going to open up offices in the country’s five regions. Each office will be headed by a regional director.
Already, Dr. Atwine found several batches of drugs missing from the stores of Luwero health centre in the past week.

Most patients were asked to buy basic hospital equipment like delivery kits, drip water, syringes and plasters.

Though some of the equipment had run out of stock, there was no proof that it had been requisitioned from the store.

Dr. Atwine’s team consists of a pharmacist, Jjumba Pontiano, and other health experts, as well as lawyers and security agencies.

President Yoweri Museveni in his State-of-the-Nation address earlier this year declared the fight against corruption as the only war remaining after the defeat of the LRA.

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