The State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) recently conducted an investigation in Manafwa District and made some important discoveries. They found 18 health centers that do not actually exist. These so-called “ghost” health facilities raised concerns about the mismanagement of health services and an increase in maternal deaths due to the negligence of health workers.
Dr. Julian Nabatanzi, the Deputy Director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, revealed that the district had assigned approximately 75 additional health workers to these non-existent facilities. Dr. Nabatanzi stated, “We instructed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to remove these ghost health facilities and correct the problem.”
According to the investigation report, the district should have had 92 health workers, but there were 267, resulting in an excess of 75 health workers. Dr. Nabatanzi’s team is still working to determine when these phantom facilities and workers were created and how much government funds were lost as a result.
Health workers in Manafwa have been facing allegations of misconduct, including extortion, absenteeism, negligence, rudeness, drug theft, and tardiness. For instance, two medical officers from Bugobero Health Centre IV were arrested in connection with the death of a pregnant woman and her baby. The woman, Billa Nambisawa, tragically passed away after failing to pay the Shs200,000 reportedly demanded by the medical officers on that fateful day.
In another incident, an enrolled nurse and an ambulance driver from Bugobero Health Centre IV were arrested by the State House Health Services Monitoring Unit for prolonged absenteeism without valid reasons.
Mr. Peter Wasubile, who lost his wife during childbirth, called for government compensation, blaming the health workers for their corruption. He stated, “I lost my wife and baby because they wanted money before helping my wife give birth.”
While acknowledging the existence of anomalies, Mr. James Luyimbazi, the CAO of Manafwa, mentioned that they pay health workers but did not provide details regarding the ghost facilities and workers.
However, Mr. Hosea Kigai Kimono, the Manafwa District chairperson, claimed that the district had only eight legitimate health facilities, including two health center IVs and four health center IIIs, along with one health center II.
He expressed ignorance about the ghost health centers and suggested that excessive recruitment of health workers occurred during the previous regime. The State House probe also implicated some district executive committee members for allegedly accepting money from health workers in exchange for job opportunities.
Dr. Nabatanzi assured the community that her team would continue to monitor these facilities to reduce maternal and prenatal deaths in the district. Concerned locals requested government intervention, citing instances of people dying due to health worker negligence and financial demands at health facilities.