KAMPALA– Government is set to install biometric fingerprint readers at all its schools and hospitals to curb the growing staff absenteeism in the public facilities.
According to Ezra Siruma, the head of the service delivery unit in the office of the Prime minister, the biometric fingerprints are more reliable than the self-reporting mechanism, which is prone to doctoring.
“We believe that biometric fingerprint readers will be no more reliable as part of efforts aimed at improving service delivery. Biometric machines will be able to send data directly to OPM,” he said.
He was addressing district leaders comprising district education and health officials at a symposium that ended in Kampala on Friday.
Dr Suruma, a former Finance minister, said the biometric devices are currently being installed in 22 Districts of Mbale, Kapchorwa, Serere, Pallisa, Buyende, Bugiri, Mayuge, Kaliro, Manafwa, Kween, Kayunga and Namutumba, among others.
Dr Jackson Ojera, the director of State House Health Monitoring Unit, said the biometric machines installed in Iganga hospital, Mukono Health Center IV, Naguru and Luweero have already worker attendance.
“The Iganga Chief administrative officer is using biometric fingerprints to pay health workers. If you work for 20 days, you get pay for 20 days,” he said.
Dr Suruma said health workers and teachers must work or resign.
“If you accept to do a job, please do it. If you cannot, please leave. There are many people willing to give it a try,” he added.
A study conducted by IntraHealth in 2015 indicated that 50 percent of health workers in Uganda don’t regularly report for duty while others show up late or leave early.
The symposium was organized by the ministry of local government to take stock of service delivery in the education and health sectors. Health ministry Permanent Secretary Diana Atwiine and her counterpart from the local government ministry, Ben Kamumanya were in attendance.