Masindi divisions lack health centers, government aided secondary schools

''Midwives either use solar or torches while conducting deliveries, and this puts the lives of our pregnant mothers at a high  risk,’’ he said.

By Innocent Atuganyira

Masindi: Kigulya and Karujubu Divisions in Masindi Municipality, Masindi district, Bunyoro sub region, are operating without government secondary schools and health centers.

Kigulya division was carved out of Miirya Sub County and became part of Masindi municipality while Karujubu is one of the four sub counties that used to constitute Buruuli County before it became a division in Masindi municipality after its creation in 2010.

Under the current government policy, each division or sub county is supposed to have a public health center III and a secondary school.

But Milton Winfred Kutegeka, the LC3 chairperson for Kigulya Division, told this publication on Wednesday that his division does not have any of these, forcing  the population of 25,000 residents to trek long distances to seek health and secondary education from other divisions.

Kutegeka added that these include pregnant mothers who trek to Masindi Central, Nyangahya and Karujubu divisions or Miirya Sub County for antenatal and other pregnancy related services.

‘’Those in Kigulya ward seek services from Kirasa health unit; those in Bigando ward go to Kijenga health center or Biizi health center II; and those in Isimba ward seek services from Pakanyi health center III or Nyakitibwa health center III in Karujubu Division,’’ he said.

Kutegeka revealed that in order to address the problem the division leadership has embarked on constructing an Outpatient Department in Isimba Ward, which is at the moment at foundation level but they lack funds to complete it.

‘’We have secured land in the above wards for the establishment of health centers and schools, and we are appealing for government intervention,’’ he said.

Kutegeka also revealed that the learners who complete primary level also trek long distances to get secondary education in Masindi Central Division, contributing to the high school dropout in the division.

‘’We have four government-aided primary schools and 13 private primary schools, but we are lacking a secondary school. Pupils who complete the primary cycle trek long distances to get secondary education due to lack of a government aided secondary school, and this has contributed to rampant school dropouts in the division,’’ he decried.

Meanwhile, Solomon Asiimwe, the LC3 Chairperson for Karujubu Division said the lack of a government aided secondary school in the division, the community, together with the division authorities, decided to establish a seed secondary school in Kihuuba cell with the hope that government will take it over in the future.

Asiimwe told that the absence of a government-aided secondary school in the division is stressing the poor parents who can’t afford taking their children to the only private secondary school in the area. He said this forces the children to trek long distances to Masindi town for secondary education which has led to many of them dropping out of school.

‘’We have only one private secondary school, and it can’t accommodate the entire division due to the population. In addition, children whose parents can’t afford school fees are trekking long distances to Masindi town for secondary education’’, he lamented.

The politician noted that although the division has two health centers, Nyakitibwa Health Centre III and Kibbwona Health Centre II, these also lack power and enough drugs.

‘’We have two health centers, but they are not connected to the national grid. Midwives either use solar or torches while conducting deliveries, and this puts the lives of our pregnant mothers at a high  risk,’’ he said.

Asiimwe revealed that they are following up on the issue to ensure that the two health facilities are connected to the national grid to improve service delivery there.

Sam Peter Ayebale, the Municipal Principal Education Officer, acknowledged the lack of government-aided secondary schools in the two divisions, revealing that they are being considered under the Uganda Secondary Education Expansion Project.

Godfrey Mirimo, the acting principal medical officer for Masindi Municipality admitted that indeed some health centers in the municipality are not connected to the national grid which hampers smooth service delivery.

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