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'Negligent' midwife arrested after two deaths

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th August 2013 03:00 AM

Court denies a nurse bail after she is accused of neglect of duty that led to the death of a new-born baby and her mother.

Court denies a nurse bail after she is accused of neglect of duty that led to the death of a new-born baby and her mother.

By Dennis Ojwee
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GULU - Court on Wednesday turned down a bail plea from a nurse accused of manslaughter in the form of alleged negligence of duty that led to the death of a new-born baby and her mother.

The mother and her child died at Gulu regional referral hospital in July this year.

Janet Adong Aloyo is said to have passed on after delivering normally without the help of a midwife.

It is understood she bled to death from an untied umbilical cord, four hours after her baby had died.

Days following the deaths at the hospital, 50-year-old Simprosa Auma-Onono, who is now accused of manslaughter, was arrested by police after it was confirmed she was on duty that fateful day.

She was detained at Gulu central police station on Monday.

But she pleaded not guilty to the offence during her appearance at Gulu Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Gulu Chief Magistrate Praff Rutakirwa took charge of the court proceedings.

He denied the accused nurse bail on grounds that the identities of two sureties who were produced in court were not “substantial and convincing” to the court.

Court maintained that the introductory letters from the LC1 chairman of their areas did not indicate that the sureties were residents of the respective areas indicated in the letters.

Magistrate Rutakiwa ruled that the letters did not indicate whether the sureties had fixed places in Gulu Bus Park ‘B” and Nakasero “B” sub-wards where they claim residence.

One of the sureties, Charles Okwakalwak, is a former LC5 Councilor of Pece Division in Gulu municipality, and is both a farmer and a businessman.

The other, Ambrose Ocen, is a biological brother to the accused midwife.  He doubles as a businessman and a water driller operating in Gulu municipality.

Auma-Onono’s lawyer, Mike Abwang Otim tried hard to convince court, but his battles yielded naught because the sureties he produced were not binding.

Prosecution, represented by Jonathan Nuwanya, maintained that investigations into the case were not complete yet partly because some medical documents had not yet been released to the police by the administrators of Gulu regional referral hospital – where the incident occurred.

 He appealed to the hospital authority to cooperate with the police to complete investigations.

After being denied bail, the accused was taken back into police custody and is set to be reproduced in court later today (Thursday).

The fatal incident at the health facility came just a few weeks after a similar one at the same hospital in which a new-born baby bled to death due to a reported untied umbilical cord.


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