CSOs, Citizens in Kabale not happy with underfunding in Health Budgets

Civil Society Organizations and a cross section of citizens in Kabale District have expressed concern over government’s regular underfunding of the health sector in national budgets, which has hindered service delivery in the crucial sector.

The Civil Societies and citizens expressed their concern yesterday, through the Chairman Kabale District Health Advocacy Working Group-an association of 20 civil societies advocating for better health services, Johnson Andiinda, during the Citizens’ Dialogue on Health Worker Migration and Family Planning Commodities Financing, held at Kirigime Guest House in Kabale Municipality.

The meeting was also attended by the Heath and Technical team at both District, Sub County and Parish levels, Health Units Management Committees-HUMCs among other stakeholders.

Amref-Uganda Communications Officer Lillian Kamanzi Mugisha speaking at the event. She said citizens need to learn to demand for effective health services themselves instead of waiting for donors, if effective service delivery is to be realized. Beside her (in pink) is the Executive Director of Kabale Women in Development-KWID, Florence Tumuheirwe.

The dialogue was organized by Kabale Women in Development-KWID, with support from Amref Health Africa.

Andiinda said that whereas the government of Uganda together with other African Union member states signed the MAPUTO protocol in Mozambique, which requires governments to fund the health sector with 15 percent and above of their national budgets, Uganda has never lived to its commitment as per the protocol.

He said that as a result, National Medical Stores-NMS has since 2016 not supplied some of the Family Planning commodities like Depo provera which is most preferred by women.

He added that some facilities like Bwama HC III, Kahondo HC II, Kavu HC II, Kafunjo HC II and others have not been able to access the hard to reach package, which has left health services there deplorable.

According to the Kabale District 2018/19 Budget Framework Paper, about 4.5 billion shillings-representing 13.8 percent of the 32.5 Billion Shillings total budget will fund the health sector.

But the Kabale District deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Edmond Ntimba blamed the underfunding to meager resources.

The Minister of Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaija has yet in his Budget speech today at the Kampala Serena Hotel, allocated 2.3 trillion Shillings representing 6.18 percent of the 37.2 trillion Shillings total budget to the health sector next financial year.

Kasaija said that health interventions will be placed on improving maternal and new born child health and equipping the health facilities to diagnose and treat diseases.

“Human resource in healthcare provision will also be strengthened.” The Minister said.

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