By Carol Natukunda
The Health Ministry has directed Mulago Hospital to identify a team of specialists to review, investigate the case of a woman who alleges that her uterus was removed without her knowledge.
The move follows an exclusive story published in New Vision on December 17, 2013 in which Winfred Nabwami, 37, accused Dr. Dennis Bitamazire of Devine Medical Center in Hoima district of illegally removing part of her uterus without her knowledge.
Nabwami alleges that in 2012, she sought medical help from Bitamazire to correct an intestinal malfunction. But after a four-hour surgery, she claims her periods have since disappeared, while the pain in her stomach increased day by the day.
Bitamazire denied the allegations, saying Nabwami’s uterus was deformed as a result of the fibroids she had suffered. Bitamazire also claimed that Nabwami was blackmailing him over personal grudges.
On 4th January 2013, Nabwami filed a complaint with the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council. She claimed that despite consistent follow-ups, the investigations were taking long while she was wasting away.
“Even at different hospitals I have gone to, the doctors fear to treat me because of an unclear medical history. They only give me painkillers. All the scans show that my uterus was tampered with,” Nabwami told New Vision in an earlier interview.
However, on February 24, 2014 letter to the executive director of Mulago hospital, the permanent secretary of the health ministry, Dr. Asuman Lukwago stated: “From that time (of the said operation in Hoima), she (Nabwami) has developed persistent abdominal pains with vomiting….the purpose of this letter therefore is to request you to identify a team of specialists to review, investigate and manage her current complaints. You will then furnish my office with a report of your findings and outcome of treatment,” Lukwago writes.
Sources told New Vision that the letter follows pressure from the health minister Ruhakana Rugunda. Nabwami is receiving treatment pending investigations, a source said.
Rugunda confirmed the development. “I called Nabwami to tell me her side of the story. The council is in the final stages of their investigations into the doctor’s alleged conduct,” Rugunda told New Vision.
When contacted, Nabwami confirmed that she had been assigned senior obstetrician/gynaecologist Dr. Jolly Beyeza to attend to her.