Obongi RDC Exposes Alarming Absenteeism at Liwa Health Center

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RDC Hasaka Samuel Mpimbasa is concerned about the double level of absenteeism in Liwa Health Centre in Obongi district, as patients express betrayal by health workers for neglecting them
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The Obong Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Hasaka Samuel Mpimbasa, has initiated constant monitoring of service delivery in the district. The latest report from the monitoring activities focuses on health service delivery at Liwa Health Center in Gimara sub-county, Obongi district.

During a media address on Friday evening, Hasaka expressed concern that the health center, which is supposed to have nine staff members, had only one active health worker serving the entire facility by midday on Friday. He questioned the absence of all the staff members and called for intervention from the Ministry of Health to address the alarming level of intentional absenteeism. Hasaka emphasized the need to hold responsible persons in the management of Liwa Health Center accountable and punish them accordingly for negligence of duty.

Hasaka revealed that over 30 patients complained that, from 8:00 AM till midday, they had not been served due to the lack of staff at the health center. He mentioned that some health workers were reportedly absent either because they were back in school for further studies or had absconded from duty. Hasaka has already written to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) about the matter. He commended Ms. Enyari Liberty, a midwife at Liwa Health Centre, for her dedication to serving the community diligently.

The RDC pointed out that corruption in Obongi District appears to be highly planned and might involve suspected connivance to evade workplace responsibilities, including the issue of absenteeism at Liwa Health Center. According to Hasaka, if the rapid level of corruption continues to rise, Obongi may be recommended for management by the central government, as it is now noticed in most departments, especially in the subpar work done by some contractors.

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He cited several projects that were not completed by the accounting officer of Obongi district. For instance, Development Infrastructure, a company contracted in Obongi, failed to complete the over 1.9 billion shillings storied production office in Obongi district under the DRDIP. The contract expired before project completion. The Obongi district local government awarded a contract to Development Infrastructure at the beginning of this year under the Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP), but the site was surreptitiously subcontracted to ‘Home Builders’ based in Kampala, which also failed to complete the project.

DRDIP, a World Bank-funded program, is set to expire in about five weeks on December 31, 2023. In April this year, the Obongi district chairperson, Abib Buga Khemis, ordered the CAO to terminate the production office construction project, but the CAO refused. The Obongi DSC also resolved to terminate the contract, but the CAO again refused. In May, the Acting district engineer wrote a letter recommending termination of the project, but once again, the CAO failed to terminate the contract. Consequently, the contract between Obongi and Development Infrastructure expired in September, leading to Development Infrastructure abandoning the site to Home Builders.

A senior technical staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that the CAO’s reluctance to terminate the contract was due to a syndicate corruption that has caused Obongi to lose billions of shillings.

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