Dr Bernard Kakeeto appearing before the health committee of Parliament. Kennedy Oryema
KAMPALA - The in-charge of Semuto Health Centre IV, in Nakaseke district, Dr Bernard Kakeeto could hardly express himself as he appeared before the health committee of Parliament on Wednesday over gross management of the health facility.
The MPs were interacting with the district officers led by Ignatius Koomu, the district chairperson.
The MPs on the committee chaired by Dr Micheal Bukenya accused Kakeeto of performing poorly despite being the highest paid civil servant in the district.
Kakeeto earns sh2.5m monthly, while other health officials earn sh1.5m. He also has a car and house provided by the Government to enable him do his work effectively.
Bukenya said on the January 25, the committee visited Nakaseke district to assess the impact of the alleged outbreak of the Crimean Congo fever, which was reported to Parliament by the Nakaseke South MP, Paul Lutamaguzi.
During their visit, the committee visited a number of health facilities, including Semuto Health centre IV, where they observed issues related to administration.
“When we reached the health facility, it was bushy with rubbish cluttered on the ground, yet the it has rubbish bins. The mama kits delivered by National Medical Stores are allegedly stolen continuously and there were allegations that health personnel extort money from patients. The health facility is almost non-functional,” said Bukenya.
Joel Yoweri Ssebikali, the Ntwetwe county MP, said when the team members entered the laboratory, the lab technician was smart, but the lab was dusty, the mortuary was surrounded by the bush and staff quarters were being encroached by weeds from nearby gardens.
Edward Ssembatya, the Katikamu south MP added: “Some of the medical staff were demanding for money from the patients, before they were discharged,”
It was from these raised concerns that Kakeeto was asked to defend himself.
In a low tone, Kakeeto said: “I will not take the raised concerns personally, but will explain what happens. On why the facility’s environment is dirty, it is situated in a town area, not fenced and people litter the place. However, sometimes, the rubbish is blown by the wind to the health centre,” he said.
On staff absenteeism, Kakeeto admitted the problem exists, but added that the involved personnel were counselled.
Explaining why the centre could not carry out C-sections despite having a theatre, Kakeeto said the health center lacks a blood bank to store blood that can be used during emergencies.
Some of the committee members demanded that Kakeeto resigns from that position over abuse of public funds and mismanagement of the facility, which they said denies the public the right to health services.