By Denis Edema
Mayuge District Health Department has failed to account for Shs369 million that was sent from the Ministry of Health to facilitate Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) and other different health programmes.
CHEWs is a pilot programme that is being implemented by the Ministry of Health in Mayuge and Lira Districts since January 2022, whose aim is to respond to health-related issues, promote hygiene and sanitation in both Districts.
Each CHEW is entitled to a monthly salary of Shs150,000; however, there are reports that some have not received their salary since, while others have received part payment.
Ms Samali Kwewayo, one of the CHEWs working on Jagusi Island, Mayuge District, says she hasn’t been paid for two months, while Mr Siraje Ntambi, who operates on the same Island, says he is demanding five-month arrears.
Subsequently, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, has directed the acting Mayuge District Health Officer (DHO), Dr Asuman Basembeza, through the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Eria Magumba, to ensure that the Shs389 million is accounted for and those meant to get the money to be paid.
“You (Dr Basembeza) have failed to account for Shs120m meant for different programmes in the health department and Shs269m since last year. After writing several letters, I am left with no option but to write to the IGG to take action on you,” Dr Atwine said at Mayuge District headquarters on Monday.
Dr Atwine was handing over 168 bicycles and other health kits, including thermometers, smartphones, gumboots, and guidance books among others to the CHEWs at Mayuge district headquarters.
In his defence, Dr Basembeza averred that some CHEWs have not been paid, but promised that they will all be getting all their money, including those seeking payment for the past eight months.
According to Dr Basembeza, some CHEWS encountered “challenges”, some of which necessitated filling out some documents to get a supply number to enable them access the money as per the finance guidelines, while others lacked national identity cards.
He said: “They have since acquired those supply numbers and we are going to harmonise payments for all of them, including those who are demanding eight-month arrears.”
Mr Elijah Madoi, the Mayuge Resident District Commissioner, has suggested that for proper follow-up of any government programmes in the district, it is important for his office and the district chairperson to know.