More than 1,105 nodding disease patients receiving treatment from Atanga Treatment and Feeding Centre in Pader District have gone without drugs following a strike by the health workers over inconsistence in their salary payments.
The workers went on strike on Monday last week and after four days of inactivity at the centre, district leaders called an emergency meeting. At the meeting, the workers vent their anger and frustration.
Mr Joseph Masaba, a health worker, said they missed their March and September salaries without clear explanation from relevant authorities. “We are supposed to pay rent, school fees and feed our families, but when the little we get is not coming what is the sense of working?” Mr Masaba asked.
Dr Justine Ocaya, who shunned the strike because he empathised with the children, said he has not got his salary for three months. “I last received my salary in June when I was paid cash at the Ministry of Health following an order from some officials when I went to follow up the issue,” Dr Ochaya said.
The workers also cited discrepancies in their payments for staff that are at the same level. They said they had been prompted to strike after they wrote a September 14 letter to the health ministry’s permanent secretary through the office of the district health officer and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to inquire about the anomalies but no response was given to them within the 10 working days they requested.
Although the workers resolved to call off the strike after the meeting, the CAO, Mr Grandfield Oryono Omonda, said the action was maliciously intended to tarnish the image of the government.