Teachers, Parents Accuse Iganga Health Workers of Charging Money for Covid19 Vaccination

By Daniel Mumbya

Numerous headteachers and parents have accused health workers in the district of Iganga of charging them money in order to get Covid19 jabs. The complainants who are residents in sub-counties like Kidago and Nawandala said workers in Health Centre Threes (HCIII) without fear ask them to pay 5000 shillings or else they should forget about the Covid19 jab.

Among the Health Centre IIIs that have been cited by teachers and parents include Nawandala, Naibiri, Kadogo and Nambale. Teachers say health workers often tell them that the money is for transport that was spent of picking the jabs and ice block to place on the areas where the injection has been administered.

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Yusuf Muzaale, the headteacher of Nabitovu primary school which is located in Nambale sub-county explained that he organised amass vaccination for his pupils with the help of their parents but the health officer through a certain person whom he has identified Musa Isabirye asked them to pay 5000 shillings for each pupil.

Muzaale said they have failed to raise that money and the pupils are likely to lose out of being vaccinated against Covid19. ” I called a meeting with the parents on how to conduct covid19 vaccination to our pupils and I suggested that let them contribute at least a certain amount to facilities the activity but everything flopped,” Muzaale said.

Even though schools are determined to implement government guidelines like vaccinating against Covid19, Muzaale said issues of charging them in order to get the jabs will leave many parents and pupils unvaccinated against the highly contagious disease.

” We would like to follow the government directives but it’s not helping the local people more especially from rural areas because how can they ask funds for our children to get a vaccination yet we are struggling with fees and what to eat,” Phiona Nabagala a parent of five pupils at Nabitovu primary school said.

Isma Mwogezi a resident of Nabitende village said he noticed that health workers deploy non-staff members to collect money from people seeking to be vaccinated against Covid19. These people who allegedly collect money from locals according to Mwogezi are always a few metres from the vaccination area.

Edward Nyongesa, the chairperson Kidago sub-county revealed that they receive such complaints from the community but they failed to trace who and how it was done. Patrick Kitimbo one of the health workers said: “In the store, we have enough doses for children and it’s for free only that we lack refrigerators to keep the vaccines safe.”

At least 3628 Ugandans succumbed to or died of conditions related to Covid19 according to the worldometer website. Those that have recovered from the disease stand at 169,253. All these figures were as of Monday 6 pm.