More on health centres and why Uganda’s politicians do not use them

Posted on June 5, 2011


Advocating for your mother! authored by Ddembe on 28. December 2007 at 05:11

NRM cadre says,
“Now the president’s actions with regard to his children’s delivery only affect me if money which budgeted to buy medicine for my mother’s health unit was diverted to fund the trip of the president’s daughter to Germany! That is my only concern and not what the president privately thinks about the health system! If anything the president said that he sends his children out for treatment because of security issues and not because they cannot deliver from here! That is his prerogative as long as it does not involve diverting money from some other vital service to do this!”

 Your mother really wasted the money she spent in taking you to school!

I say this not to insult you but to point out that you should be a better advocate for her than you are showing yourself to be! Illiterate parents send thei childrent to school so that they can have what they could not have. They also expect that their children by getting a glimpse into the world of the educated can decipher the lies fed to them by the elducated elite!
Lie one
That your mother is getting the health care she deserves which you and I know is not true. While your mother may lack the sophistication to see that an understaffed or underequipped health centre staffed by a healthcare worker with a limited range of skills (medical assistants range of skills are limited by their training) not backed by a functional referral and tertiary healthcare system (We know about mulago and the district hospitals) does not adequately cover her healthcare needs particularly as she grows older, you her son who is educated and has travelled should be able to act as a better advocate for her! You should be able to see that in attempting to convince her that she is adequately covered a fraud is being committed on her! Trust me as long as your mother is healthy and only has the occasional nagging problem she will be fine but should she ever have a serious medical problem, like Mayombo, she is not covered! That reminds me that there is no geritarician in Uganda for a population of 30 million people with a rising group above the age of 65 who no doubt hav specific age related health problems not covered in the repertoire of your medical assistants skills and training!
Lie two
That Museveni’s sending his children abroad to study and his daughters to deliver his grandchildren is a private act! To the extent that both are/were public funded acts, they cease to be private acts. The jet was bought by and belongs to the state and the fuel was funded by the state. The bills in Germany were paid for by the state. This opens the acts to public scrutiny. You are right in that what Museveni does is a private act -only if he funds it himself from his own funds. There has been no accountability todate suggesting that Museveni ever did refund that money. As a matter of fact he wrote a letter to the papers defending that very act and attempting to justify it on security grounds. His son went to university in Nottingham -at state expense which is an accepted part of his fathers perks (for children under the age of 21). However should there be evidence that his selection for training at Sandhurts and Fort Levenworth were guided by nepotism rather than merit and equal access then that becomes a problem and becomes open to public scrutiny!
Lie three
That your mother should not be concerned about the above acts by Museveni if and supposedly because they do not divert money from her healthcare and other vital services!
But therein lies the problem. For any money that Museveni or the government misuses in a frivolous expenditure does limit the governments ability to provide services to your mother! Trust me at her age she needs more than panadol, chloroquine and deworming tablets and even if these were available and free to her, she should have access to more advanced diaagnostic and treatment facilities when she needs them which she will! Ever wonder why the western nations beat us in life expectancy? If uganda’s life expectantcy is still below 50, then it means that your health system is still inadequate and a large number of people are dying premature and preventable deaths. Thats what brings down the life epectancy not because we do not have Ugandans with the genetic makeup to survive to 100 years but because we do not have the preventive health services and the diagnostic and management facilities including training and infrastructure to provide those services to our people. The presence of a few well trained and motivated individuals cannot take the place of focussed government planning and expenditure on healthcare for its citizens! Our government has in many ways abdicated its responsibility to its citizens your mother included!!

Posted in: Health