Leaders react as Alebtong DHO denies ‘killing’ Ongweo, 15
Alebtong district leaders have reacted angrily, warning health workers against late reporting for duties.
By Acipa Doreen
Lira – February 9, 2022: The District Health Officer (DHO) of Alebtong District Dr. Tonny Odung has denied the allegations of having a hand in the death of a juvenile.
Odung said this after the death of Peter Ongweo, a 15-year-old boy who was found lying unconscious by the roadside and later rushed to Alebtong Health Center IV by the district LC5 Chairperson David Kennedy (DK) Odongo.
This occurred on Monday, February 07, 2022, at around 09: 00 am.
In an exclusive interview with DK Odongo, he narrated that on his way to the field; he found a kid was lying helpless near Alebtong prison farm. This place is also near to the district headquarters.
“I rushed the boy to Alebtong HC IV and there was no medical staff on duty to attend to the boy. There was no staff at the outpatient department (OPD) and general ward except three staff that were attending to pregnant mothers at the maternity ward,” DK narrated.
Odongo continued that he immediately called the DHO who told him that he was within the district headquarters but never mentioned his exact location.
According to Odongo, he later called the in charge OPD, and the health center in charge only identified as Dr. Amos who both told him they were on their way to Alebtong from Lira.
Since all the above personnel was not of immediate help, he called one Tonny Opio who is a clinical officer. Opio was off duty but he rushed to the health center and tried to rescue the boy but unfortunately, he passed on.
“I called both the Resident District Commissioner and the Chief Administrative Officer and they both converge at the health facility,” Odongo added.
Further, Odongo said he directed the CAO to stop any government vehicle that belongs to Alebtong district local government from leaving the district unless it’s on official duty.
“Both health centers II, III, and IV must have duty roasters in place with contacts,” the LC5 chairperson has instructed.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Dr. Tonny Odung, he confirmed that the workers reported late on duty. However, he said there may be a possibility that the juvenile died because of health workers’ absenteeism.
“The boy’s survival would depend on servility of his case at that time even if the medical personnel were there,” Odung said, rebuking the act of late reporting for duty and said, “There are steps that will be taken with immediate effect.”
“Every staff knows that the reporting time for work is 8:00 am and departure time is 5:00 pm and anything less than that won’t be accepted.”
He urged the medical personnel to strictly adhere to matters regarding duties because there will be compromise regarding that, revealing that, “Whoever goes below shall be handled administratively.”
Odung said staff houses are enough to accommodate 90% of the workers and directed them to reside within the health premises.
John Robert Adiama Ekaju, Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Alebtong said he was called by the district chairperson and he witnessed the health workers reporting on duty at 10 am.
Adiama noted his disappointment and said late reporting is also happening in Abia Health Centre where he visited and found only pregnant mothers who went for antenatal and there was no single staff.
“Government workers should report to work the same way they report to withdraw their salaries,” RDC said, concluding that health workers should love their job, fix their attitude; change their mindsets and stop being an embarrassment to the institution.
The North Kyoga Regional Police Spokesperson ASP Jimmy Patrick Okema confirmed that a case was reported at Alebtong CPS under case reference DEF 01/2022.
According to Okema, the scene was documented by the scene of crime officers (SOCO), postmortem conducted, and the body was handed over to relatives for burial.