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VHTs in Obongi Demand Payment of Allowances

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A section of Village Health Team members in Obongi district are up in arms over the delayed payment of allowances for the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise.    

Between November and December 2023, the VHTs participated in the indoor residual spraying exercise which was meant to reduce the high malaria burden in the area.  

However, nearly three months later, the VHTs say that they only received part of their allowances which were meant to facilitate the work.     

Ramadhan Longa, one of the affected VHTs in Obongi Town Council explains that most of the VHTs received partial payment of 296,000 Shillings, which is far below the 528,000 Shillings they were entitled to. He further tasked the district leaders to explain the whereabouts of the remaining allowance.  

Christopher Candiga, another VHT discloses that they have on several occasions sought explanation from their supervisors and district officials over their allowances in vain.  

According to the guidelines for the programme, each VHT member was entitled to 22,000 Shillings for each of the 24 days of the activity which translates to 528,000 Ugandan shillings.     

Hamid Aliga, the councillor representing Obongi town council to the district highlighted that the aggrieved VHTs have on several occasions stormed his home over their unpaid allowances. Aliga tasked the district health officials to ensure the matter is urgently resolved to restore harmony among the first-line health workers.  

Dominic Lomurecu, the acting district health officer for Obongi acknowledged the delay in the payment of the allowances but blamed it on the delayed enrollment of the district on the Government’s electronic cash payment system which has recently been activated.  

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According to Lomurecu besides the delayed rollout of the electronic cash payment system, most VHTs have inaccuracies with their mobile phone numbers which are registered not in their names.

But, Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka, the Obongi Resident District Commissioner (RDC) called for calm among the affected VHTs saying his office has taken up the matter for follow-up.

In August Last year, the Ministry of Health rolled out the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) Exercise in nine highly malaria-burdened districts in the West Nile sub-region namely Moyo Adjumani, Yumbe, Obongi, Koboko, Maracha, Arua, Madi Okollo and Terego.

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