Uganda Nurses demand UGX 126 billion in lunch allowances

Nurses in Uganda demand UGX 126 billion in lunch allowances
President Museveni while officiating the International Nurses Day celebrations at Kyamate Secondary School grounds in Ntungamo Municipality, promised to increase lunch allowances for health workers in the country.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Nurses under their umbrella body Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) will starting next month break off from work for one and half hours for lunch should government fail to fulfill an earlier promise of giving them Shillings 15,000 for their daily lunch allowance. This translates to Shillings 126 billion annually for the 24,500 nurses across the country.

Justus Cherop Kiplangat, the President of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union, says money wasn’t included in the budget, despite promises by cabinet last year to provide them with lunch and accommodation allowances.

According to Cherop, nurses have been receiving Shillings 3,000 as a daily lunch allowance since 1996, which can no longer buy a decent meal.

Over the past one year, Cherop said the President has made several promises to them including Shillings 1 billion to boast their SACCO, accommodation and scholarships for Nurses and Midwives but none of them has been fulfilled.

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To him, the recurrent disappointments have taken a toll on the morale of many health workers forcing them to leave the profession and others the country in search of better opportunities.

He said after salary increments, a lower cadre nurse earns Shillings 600,000 per month.

Annet Birungi, a nurse at Mulago National Referral Hospital, says the money is insufficient given the fact that they have to rent a house, settle transport fares and buy lunch.

They want the lowest paid cadre to earn at least a net salary of Shillings 1million.