Ministry of health has threatened to withhold funding for the nodding syndrome following delays by the beneficiary districts to account for over 800 million shillings.
The money in question was disbursed in the last two financial years. However, a circular issued by the health ministry last month, indicts that districts and hospitals in Northern Uganda, which benefited from the money are yet to fully account for it.
According to the circular Kitgum, Amuru and Gulu districts received 177 million shillings, 99M and 99 Million shillings respectively but to date have not accounted for a penny.
Pader district received 237M but only accounted for 76Million, Lamwo received 158M and accounted for 57M and Oyam received 93m but only accounted for only 31M.
Gulu regional referral hospital received 27M but only accounted for 12m and Lira regional referral hospitals has not accounted for the 109 Million shillings received.
Now, Dr Asuman Lukwago, the permanent secretary ministry of health says the districts will not recieve additional funds unless they account for the previous funds as stipulated in the financial and accounting regulations.
Dr Bernard Opar, the coordinator nodding syndrome ministry of health says the districts delayed to submit accountabilities forcing the ministry to demand full accountability.
Opar says despite the fact that some of the district submitted their accountability as a result of the pressure from the ministry; it is yet to verify the figures.
When contacted some of the responsible district officials denied allegations that they had failed to account for the disbursed funds. The instead blamed the problem on a communication gap between the ministry and districts.
Mathew Ocen Akiya, the Lamwo LC V chairperson says they submitted full accountability for the money received by his district. He explains that the money came with strict accounting guidelines, which they were obliged to follow.
He however, noted that his district did spend 54M because they work is still ongoing and therefore can’t account for it now. Bernard Ogwang, the deputy administrative officer Gulu said they accounted for the money last year.
He says as far as they are concerned they don’t know what the ministry means by saying they have failed to account for the money.
Nathan Onyachi, the director Gulu regional referral hospital says they didn’t fail to account for the money but they tasked to account earlier than it was expected.
He however, explains that Gulu Hospital had cleared its accountability and confirmed that the ministry of health was in the process of providing more funding for the nodding syndrome.
Nodding syndrome is an unexplained neurologic condition characterized by episodes of repetitive dropping forward of the head, often accompanied by other seizure-like activity, such as convulsions or staring spells.
The condition predominantly affects children aged 5–15 years and has been reported in Northern Uganda, south Sudan and Tanzania.