Arua. The Belgium government has allocated Shillings 3.5 billion to 23 health centers and hospitals to ensure increased patient attendance and offering of quality health care to patients.
In the first phase of the money, 20 health centers are benefiting from the funds and now in 2017/18 Financial Year, St Assumpta in Ediofe, Kei Health center III and Anyiribu Health Center III are to receive the funds.
During the Health Sector Review Meeting for West Nile that ended on Thursday, the Belgian National Technical Assistant, Mwaka Agoba, said: “Through this funding, we want to ensure that the quality health care for the rural community who are poor improve. The money will also enable the poor patients to pay half or less than what they used to because we pay the health centers to offer the services.”
He said through the Result Based Financing, the focus is to ensure that there is improvement in maternal and child health where some mothers still do not want to attend both ante-natal and deliveries in health units.
A patient from Atido village in Erussi Sub-county, Oliver Kintho, said: “When I came here, I was made to pay Shs 2,000 although the total bill could be Shs 5,000 because I was told that there is reduced cost now of health. The high costs of health care had scared away many rural poor to resort to herbs or come when their condition is now worse at the verge of death.”
The Belgian government is funding the health centers in West Nile and Rwenzori regions after thorough assessment and verification of the beneficiary health centers. The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Arua, Martin Andua, said: “Many of the health centers especially in rural areas are limping. They have virtually become hard to reach areas. We need to have robust program to revive the centers and curb the theft of drugs because it affects the quality health care.”