Health News


Couple Blame Medical Workers for Disappearance of Baby


The couple whose newly born child was stolen from Hoima Regional Referral Hospital is blaming medical staff for negligence. 34-year-old Faith Erina, a Congolese refugee delivered at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital on Monday last week through C-section.

However, the child disappeared from the hospital moments after delivery forcing Erina's husband, Molomba Kalala, also a Congolese refugee to file a case of child theft at Hoima Central Police Station. Kalala blames the disappearance of their newly born child on negligence by the medical staff.

Kalala says the conduct of the medical staff following the theft of their child is suspicious. He told PRIME RADIO that neither the doctor nor nurses who handled his wife during the operation even attempted to meet them following the incident.

He says the hospital management only gave them one kilogram of rice, beans and salt upon their discharge, which dashed the hopes of recovering their missing baby. The couple lives in Kyangwali Refugee settlement camp.

Kalala, who remained at home to take care of the other children, wonders why the doctor asked a stranger in the hospital to collect a stretcher to transfer his wife from the ward, yet the hospital has support staff assigned to do such work.

Jackline Uwimeza, who in charge of Erina at the hospital, says shortly after the operation, nurses asked her to go to the ward upstairs and look for a mobile bed they would use to transfer her from the theatre. Uwimeza says she moved to the ward twice and wouldn't the bed.

She explains that it is at this point that the nurses asked her to move with unidentified woman to find a bed forcing her to leave the baby with another unidentified woman standing close to the theatre. Uwimeza says it took her about 10 minutes to find a bed and return only to find the woman had vanished with the baby.

She says that after searching for the woman in vain, another woman advised her to file a case of child theft at Hoima Central Police Station. The management of Hoima Regional Referral Hospital is yet to issue an official statement on the matter.

Dr. Peter Mukobi, the Medical Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital wasn't available for comment as he was said to be away in Kampala for a week long induction meeting at the Health Ministry headquarters.

Dr. Tom Ediamo, the Deputy Medical Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital told PRIME RADIO that some staffs have been invited to police to record statements. Dr. Ediamo, who declined to comment on the matter, also claims that it was the hospital that reported the case of child theft and not the caretaker as claimed.

The Principal Senior Nursing Officer at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital declined to explain to PRIME RADIO the procedure for handling newly born mothers and their children. Our reporter visited the maternity ward and observed saw caretakers bringing in mothers from the theater.

Following the theft of the child, the other people in the maternity ward have become vigilant. James Manirigaba, whose wife delivered their fourth child through caesarian section, told PRIME RADIO that he was forced to rush to the hospital to protect his baby from being stolen since there was only one caretaker.

Another mother who delivered through C-section says she moves with her baby whenever she walks around the facility. The hospital security personnel say they are checking all babies to ensure that they have been cleared at discharge.

Julius Hakiza Albertine, the Albertain Region Police Public Relations Officer, says although they have recorded statements from several people no arrests have been made in connection to the theft. PRIME RADIO has learnt that the last time a baby was stolen from the facility was in 2002. The baby was found within a day with a woman from the same village where the mother hailed from.


NMS Omits Artesunate Drug on Supplies to Luweero



National Medical Stores has again failed to deliver artesunate-a first line drug used in the treatment of Severe Malaria, to health centers in Luweero district.

The stores delivered a consignment of medicines for the first quarter of the financial year 2017/2018 about two weeks ago. However, artesunate, the recommended treatment of choice for severe malaria in adults was not among the drugs.

Instead, the district received Coartem, Fansidar and Quinine, which are often recommended as alternatives in the absence artesunate. The use of quinine for instance is challenged by poor tolerability, poor compliance with complex dosing regimens, and the availability of more efficacious anti-malarial drugs while Fansidar, like Chloroquine are less recommended due to high levels of resistance in Africa.

Luweero District Medicine Supervisor Moses Kakungulu says they are now seeking an explanation as to why the drug was missing on the NMS list of deliveries to the district, whose malaria prevalence remains high. At least 37,630 malaria cases were confirmed positive in Luweero district between months of January-April, 2017.

Doctor Sarah Ogobi, the Deputy In-charge of Luweero Health Center IV explains that because of shortage of the drugs, most patients with severe malaria are asked to buy drugs outside and others referred to nearby hospitals.The Drug was last supplied to Luweero district in March, 2017.

Currently artesunate drugs cost between 8000 and 15,000 Shillings a dose depending on the age bracket. Adults and children over 6 months take 5mg orally on the first day followed by 2.5 mg on the second and third days in combination with mefloquine in a single dose on the second day.

Ogobi adds that health centres in the district are unable to implement Ministry of Health guidelines requiring all pregnant mothers to receive more than three doses of artesunate injection. She says the absence of the drug is putting lives at risk.

Other health centers that include Wabusana, Butuntumula, Nsawo Health Center III's and Nyimbwa Health Center IV are reportedly in crisis over shortage of the drug.

Christine Namata a resident of Kiyenje zone in Luweero Town Council is currently nursing her seven-year-old who is battling severe malaria at Luweero Health Center IV. She says she has spent over 30,000 Shillings to buy artesunate from private clinics and later take it to health workers at Luweero Health Center for administration on her first day of admission.

Another caretaker John Mukasa was found at Luweero Health Center making calls to relatives for support to save his four-year-old girl who needed the drug but had no money to buy it.

Dan Kimosho, the Spokesperson of National Medical Stores asked for time to consult on why the drug was missing on deliveries was sent to Luweero. His response was still pending by press time.

Earlier on, Kimosho told PRIME RADIO Reporter that NMS experienced budget shortfalls in financial year 2016/17 and was unable to supply the drug in the past months.



Prime Classfieds