Health Workers at Butiaba Health Center III in Butiaba town have laid down their tools, protesting inadequate space for accommodation.
The health center has a workforce of 23 people and only a single house comprising three rooms for staff accommodation.
At the health center, five workers share a single room and those without sleeping space are forced to a few kilometers off the hospital premises, which affect timely response to health emergencies.
Moses Kaahwa, the in-charge of Butiaba Health Center III describes the situation at the facility as appalling.
He said that accommodating five staff in one room compromises their privacy.
“We accommodate five staffs in one room which compromises privacy and also affects services because the health officers should be at the facility to respond to any emergency,” he said
A nurse at the facility who spoke on condition of anonymity said that they are going through untold suffering due to lack of accommodation.
“There is no privacy at all, at this place since we are crowded in one room. This situation is completely out of hand but we are here to save lives. We call upon the government to immediately intervene,” she said.
Another male staff said that since water triggered by flooding from Lake Albert submerged their former staff quarters they have been undergoing untold suffering.
However, according to Kaahwa, the current facility where they are operating from is also at the verge of being submerged by floods.
Dr. Nelson Naisye, the Buliisa District Health Officer-DHO confirmed that the health workers are going through untold suffering, adding that his office has already forwarded the matter to the Health Ministry for consideration.
He noted that ever since water submerged the old health facility life became very difficult for the health workers.
In April this year, health officials closed Butiaba Health Center III after failing to secure a better place to treat patients from.
Floods triggered by the rising water level in Lake Albert submerged the health facility in October last year forcing the authorities to move health services to Butiaba Primary school since pupils were still home due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The floods submerged staff quarters, maternity, male and female wards, store and the Outpatient Department – OPD among other facilities.
Also submerged were roads leading to the health facility making it difficult for patients to access.
The health center receives 200 patients on average each day including some who come from the Democratic Republic of Congo.