Six arrested in Kyotera over drug theft after State House directive - National | NTV

Six arrested in Kyotera over drug theft after State House directive

Sunday September 22, 2019


Six staff at Kalisizo Hospital in Kyotera District who were interdicted over missing hospital equipment and drugs have been arrested following a directive by State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU).

The suspects who include the hospital medical Superintendent, Dr Bernadette Nakanwagi, the assistant hospital administrator, Mr Richard Bantubalamu, a clinical officer, Mr Rajab Nnyanzi, the assistant district cold chain officer, Mr Wasswa Lubega,
Mr Lambert Tumwebaze who is attached to HIV Testing and Counselling department together with Mr Charles Muhumuza, a medical volunteer at the facility are currently detained at Kalisizo Police Station following an order from the HMU on Friday.
HMU headed by Dr Jackson Ojera Abusu was established by President Museveni in 2009 to check theft of medical supplies in public health facilities and misconduct by some medics.

According to the head of investigations at State House Health Monitoring Unit, Mr Collins Karugaba, the suspects are responsible for the missing drugs and hospital equipment.

“These people [suspects] have not been arrested for nothing. We have done some investigations and there is cogent evidence implicating them. We managed to find some equipment and medicine such as male circumcision kits and refrigerators in their homes,” he said on Saturday.

Mr Karugaba said some of the recovered equipment belong to government whereas others belong to stake holders such as Rakai Health Sciences Programme (RHSP). He said some items like hospital beds and mattresses were removed from the hospital stores under the guise of donating them to lower health units.

“The hospital administrators have not been doing any supervision because we detected many loopholes in the system,” he added.

Dr Nakanwagi, Mr Bantubalamu, Ms Jane Frances Kisitu, the in-charge of Uganda National Expanded Programme on Immunization (UNEPI) and four night watchmen had earlier this week been interdicted by Kyotera Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Fred Kalyesubula over abuse of office.

Mr Kalyesubula said the suspects are responsible for loss of a refrigerator and drugs at the hospital. The said items reportedly went missing last week. The latest arrests have affected operation at the facility and many patients are currently being referred to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital located 30kilometres away.

“The situation has just worsened. When I took my expectant wife to deliver from the hospital yesterday [Friday], we were told to go to Masaka Hospital. It looks like medics are on unofficially declared sit downs trike. We don’t know what do now,” Mr Emmanuel Ssenkatuka, a resident of Bulinda Village said.

Kalisizo Hospital receives drugs and supplies worth Shs250m annually but hospital administrators claim it is not enough given the over 150,000 patients the hospital serves.

Dr Edward Muwanga, the District Health Officer told Daily Monitor that the arrested staff should carry their own cross because they committed the crimes as individuals.

“If one of our workers was found with a hospital equipment, this will be up to him or her to explain and not us who know nothing about their motives,” he said.
He said they had asked the State House team to expand their investigations to lower health units.