By Donald Kiirya
Walukuba Health Centre IV in Jinja was a scene of mayhem on Monday as residents demanded for justice and arrest of a laboratory attendant accused of defiling two girls and impregnating one of them.
Residents stormed the health facility holding placards written on all sorts of messages and shouting on top of their voices demanding the arrest of Francis Oketcho, a laboratory attendant at the health centre.
According to residents, Oketcho is suspected to have defiled the girls at different intervals. One of the victims is four months pregnant.
One of the victims’ mother narrated that her daughter was defiled on March 1 at Walukuba Health Centre IV when she went to receive medical attention having been down with malaria.
Jinja DPC (M) tries to calm down charged residents who were demonstrating on Monday morning.
She said that she sent her daughter to the health centre to get treatment for Malaria on Saturday and she was attended too.
“When my daughter came back at home, she told me that the doctors had told her to go back for other injections as early as 8:00am the following day (Sunday) and I hesitated because to it was so early. I told her to go at 9:00am,” she narrated.
She said her daughter took long to come back home and the next thing was a phone call from concerned residents who called and informed her that her daughter was lying unconscious in the hospital so she had to rush there.
She said when her daughter regained consciousness; she told her mother that Oketcho had defiled her after injecting her with a sedative. They immediately reported to Walukuba Police who embarked on the manhunt for the suspect.
On Monday, a group of women from Jesus Cares, an NGO under TASO Jinja branch demonstrated at the Walukuba Health Centre, bringing business to a standstill.
They also stormed Oketcho’s house in the health centre together with the Walukuba/Masese division LC 3 chairperson Badman Musisi Kibugujju and found another girl who was four months pregnant. Oketcho had already fled.
The girl confessed that Oketcho defiled her and made her pregnant four months ago. The Officer in Charge of Walukuba Police station, Mohammed Tabo, failed to contain the confusion at the health centre until the Jinja district Police Commander Apollo Kateeba arrived and calmed down the residents.
Residents demanded for the transfer of all health workers at Walukuba Health Centre. Kateeba told them that he will consult with the Jinja district Chief Administrative Officer and find a way forward.
Kateeba said Oketcho was still at large but as Police, investigations have been initiated to bring him to book.