Last Updated on: 26th November 2022, 03:08 pm
The contracted sprayers are blaming the focal point person of the [IRS] project whom they accuse of creating serious information gaps by refusing to address the delay and declining to answer telephone calls.
By Marko Taibot
Adjumani – November 26, 2022: Spray operators and team leaders employed on contract on behalf of the ministry of health by the district local government to implement the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in Adjumani have protested the delayed payments of their training allowance.
This publication has established that 60 spray operators and 15 team leaders including village mobilizers are demanding the district local government up to shs8.7m with each entitled to pocket shs110,000 for five days. According to a report the publication has obtained, the health department did not make the payment as promised.
Mr Bernanrd Ayimani who is the team leader of the aggrieved contracted workers said they are demanding the district local government to make the payment of the training allowance before they proceed with the work as planned.
“We need the training allowance and appointment letter to say that we have been contracted to do this work,” Ayimani said.
Ms Alice Baatiyo, one of the ladies employed to do the indoor residual spraying in Adjumani town council expressed disappointment, saying all their colleagues in other sub-counties have been paid but only the spray operators of Adjumani town council have been left out.
She blamed the focal point person of the indoor residual spraying project [IRS] whom she accuses of creating serious information gaps by refusing to address the delay and declining to answer telephone calls seeking explanations.
“We have been mistreated and reduced to beggars because for 11 days we have been spraying houses and doing other related assignments’ on empty stomachs’ yet during training the trainers advised that we should feed well during the entire period,” the disgruntled party have expressed.
The DHO Dr. Drametu Dominic told the unruly workforce that his office has completed all the steps for payment but now for eight days in a row, the integrated financial management system[IFMS]has failed, creating a dilemma.
“I am appealing to you to resume work as my office makes up a follow-up for expediting the payment because your money is already in the pipeline and every worker will be paid money that is due to him or her,” Dr. Drametu said amid heckling from the rowdy youthful sprayers.
The Chief Administrative Officer of Adjumani (CAO) Mr. Grandfield Oryono Omonda acknowledged the delay and attributed it to an unnecessary breakdown in the IFMS system leading to the delay in payment.
Mr. Oryono Grandfield then asked the rowdy youth to give him the chance to consult with the Chief Finance Officer and a team from the office of DHO.
The Indoor Residual Spraying program, which targets all the districts in West Nile officially started on November 7, 2022, and is scheduled to run for 25 days.
About 90,000 houses including commercial buildings have been mapped to be sprayed during the exercise.
The ministry of health has set aside $26million approximately shs93 billion for Indoor Residual Spraying in the west Nile region this month.
West Nile has a high malaria transmission with 80% of people with fever testing positive, 50% of all out-patient attendees being due to malaria, 25% of all in-patients, and 15% of all deaths.
According to the district health office of Adjumani, malaria still was among the top ten Causes of Mortality during the financial year 2021-2022 with a total of 70 deaths; males 41, female 29 proportion of 23.0%.
The data further indicates that the proportion of pregnant mothers with malaria from January 2022 to March 2022 increased from 23% to 32% from April to June 2022 which is a dangerous trend that necessitates Indoor Residual Spraying.
Uganda first implemented IRS in Kigezi in the 60s and early ’70s in an attempt to eliminate malaria. It was reintroduced in Kigezi again in 2006, moved to Acholi and parts of Lango in 2009, and later to Eastern Uganda in 2014.