The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja has pledged to have Cabinet reconsider an earlier Parliament resolution on increment of remuneration for Village Health Teams (VHT).
Nabbanja’s pledge followed a motion moved by Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament, Hon. Stephen Aseera on Tuesday 02 August 2022 during the plenary sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among. Aseera proposed that government should increase the VHTs’ monthly stipend from Shs10, 000 to Shs100, 000 per member.
Nabbanja noted that such a request had been made in the 10th Parliament and was discussed in Cabinet in 2017 but that government has since been financially constrained.
“Government was unable to bring it here; let me take it back and report in a month’s time” said Nabbanja.
Aseera said that the plight of VHTs should be considered owing to the critical role they play in bringing health services to the people.
“Majority of the population lives far from health centres and the VHTs bridge that gap. VHTs participate in the management of local health services including home visits, health education, management of common illness and follow up on pregnant mothers,” Aseera said.
Aseera said despite the VHTs’ visible contribution, they remain poorly facilitated in the performance of their duties which has led to a high turnover of members from the programme. “A study by the Ministry of Health in 2014 indicated lack of regular monthly pay as a barrier to their performance,” he said.
Bugiri Municipality MP, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa cognizant that Aseera’s motion had a financial consequence to the national resource envelope, suggested that the Prime Minister takes charge of the proposals.
“According to Article 193 (b) of the Constitution, we cannot proceed in this manner because the motion creates a charge on the Consolidated Fund; government should pick it up and proceed from there,” said Basalirwa.
Basalirwa said that MPs were currently shouldering the burden of paying VHTs and prayed that government takes over the mantle.
“We appreciate the role they play and we should not lose sight of the significance of this motion. Let the Prime Minister take it on to other channels and save MPs from this responsibility,” said Basalirwa.