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Attempt to embezzle clinic’s repair budget foiled in Kunar

5 Dec 2020 - 18:56
5 Dec 2020 - 18:56

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) has said corruption in repairing of a healthcare center in Noor Gul district of eastern Kunar province has been foiled in cooperation with Integrity Volunteers.

The Integrity Watch, supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has recently monitored 20 healthcare centers in Kunar province. These centers provided low quality services and had many other issues.

Shortage of medicines, late attendance of doctors, personal relations, and bad treatment of patients and lack of a clean environment were the problems that plagued services of these healthcare centers.

Bad services and corruption have ceased to exist in these centers following the Danish embassy’s financial support to Integrity and Openness Action anti-graft project.

Sadaqatullah Ghorzang, a member of the Social Observation Program in Kunar, said, “The services improved with the engagement of Social Observation Program in these healthcare centers, many problems in these centers have mostly been solved and officials now take care.”

Karchando clinic, Nor Gul district:

According to Integrity Watch, the building of Karchando clinic in Mazar Dara area of Noor Gul district has been damaged and required reconstruction. He said the clinic was the district’s main facility which was located under a Taliban’s control area.

Members of the Social Observation Program have several times shared the repairing issue of the clinic with relevant organs, but no one paid attention, Integrity Watch said.

The organization said that the government could not monitor the healthcare center due to its location in the Taliban control area but the issue has been taken into account in the meeting of Social Observation Program.

“After the issue was investigated, it became clear that the government had allocated budget for the repair of the clinic’s roof, the contractor had taken the money but he left the repair work incomplete,” IAW alleged.

As the case revealed, it went viral on social media for which Kunar officials were angrily criticized by social media activists. The contractor, after the exposure, was recalled by local officials and was sent with a team to the clinic for resuming repair, the source said.

According to Integrity Watch, the contractor had withdrawn and embezzled the money in advance, but Integrity Volunteers investigated the issue and forced the contractor to complete the project. The repairing process has been completed by the contractor, the source said.

However, Integrity Watch said they also faced some problems during observation of the clinic’s repairing process.

“Officials of the clinic were mistreating social observers during the first day of their observation from the repairing process, they were not allowing them to monitor the work, but the problem was solved after it was shared with the governor’s house and the program leader,” the source added.

Sayed Akram Afzali, executive director of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, said that corrupt figures would not stop embezzling public money until local people watched over the performance of their healthcare centers.

Mohammad Hanif Khairkhwah, chief of Noor Gul district, confirmed the repairing process of Karchando clinic had been stopped for some reasons but it was now completed and ready for health services.

Dr. Aziz Rahman, Kunar public health director, also said that the reconstruction of the clinic had been completed and problems it faced earlier had been solved.Mds/ma



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