A health worker vaccinates a man against Covid-19 in Wakiso District recently. PHOTO / JOSEPH KIGGUNDU
By STEPHEN OTAGE
The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union says it expects an answer from government today on how they intend to address the low morale among health workers carrying out Covid-19 vaccinations across the country.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Justus Cherop, the president of Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union, said since Wednesday last week, some health workers cannot afford breakfast, lunch and water during the exercise.
“We expect an answer from the line ministry today. Government increased our lunch allowances from Shs2,000 to Shs15,000 per day at the beginning of this financial year and they started paying in August, but they are taxing 30 percent. We cannot afford lunch. The mood is low, there are no teams to work,” he said.
He added that when government enhanced their lunch allowances, they were never informed that it would be subjected to a 30 percent tax, leaving them with only Shs7,000.
When asked about the complain, Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, referred this newspaper to the Ministry of Public Service, which handles the affairs of civil servants.
“The Ministry of Public Service approved only Shs15, 000 for the additional allowance since this is part of their routine work. They are the people handling vaccinations on a daily basis,” he said. Advertisement
Last week, government launched mass Covid-19 vaccination in Kampala Metropolitan area to administer the Pfizer vaccine to the city residents, but the government vaccination centres such as Kololo Ceremonial Grounds and Kiswa Health Centre, have continuously registered a low turn up compared to other centres established by Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) and private companies such as Uganda Breweries and TWED Group of companies.
Ms Jackie Takahanizbwa, the head of communications at Uganda Breweries, said they were able to attract more people to go for vaccinations because the vaccines were readily available.
Dr Chris Oundo, the director of Medical Services at KCCA, said Uganda Breweries was paying each medical worker a daily allowance of Shs40,000 and they managed to vaccinate close to 8,000 people within a week.
Dr Dan Twebaze, the chief executive officer of TWED Group, said in the two-day vaccination exercise, 700 people took the jab compared to the 400 that they had targeted. He said they were paying each health worker Shs30,000 per day.
“The health workers were working from 9am to 7:00pm and this has not been happening before. We were offering them transport, the meals and a daily allowance and they were happy,” he said.
Today, government is expected to roll out countrywide vaccination to hit the 4.4m target before fully reopening the economy.
Source Daily Monitor.