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Health Monitoring Unit redistributes stolen drugs

By Vivian Agaba

Added 29th July 2017 10:06 AM

The HMU team found the stolen supplies and drugs, though some boxes had labels tempered with

The HMU team found the stolen supplies and drugs, though some boxes had labels tempered with


The Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) has redistributed a consignment of delivery supplies to Naguru and Kawempe general hospitals which had been recovered from Kamwokya Centre mid last month.

The supplies recovered were worth sh9m and these are 55 National Medical Stores (NMS) marked boxes of examination gloves of 100 pieces each, 98 rolls of absorbent cotton gauze, and five government marked boxes of malaria rapid diagnostic test kits which were for public use only and not for sale.

Naguru Hospital received 20 boxes of gloves and 40 rolls of absorbent cotton gauze, while Kawempe received 25 boxes of latex examination gloves and 54 rolls of absorbent cotton gauze.

Speaking during the handover of the supplies, the HMU deputy director, Dr. Julian Nabatanzi explained that the two hospitals being referrals, attend to very many expectant mothers and therefore supplies are likely to run out faster.

She said the supplies will go to the obstetrics and gynaecology department, adding that life threatening emergencies occur mostly in obstetrics and gynaecology wards.

"The demand for these supplies is very high considering some mothers skip health centre 4s and go to referral hospitals. This leads to referral system break down, so whenever we get such supplies, we consider referral hospitals first," she said.

"We call upon the hospital administration and health workers to put them to the right use," she added.

The director of Naguru Regional Hospital, Dr. Emmanuel Batibwa decried the limited supply of delivery supplies, noting that the hospital is under supplied.

Though he declined to give details about the shortage of such supplies, he noted that whatever the hospital receives is shared amongst departments.

"We usually run short of latex examination gloves, and when NMS provides some meant to be used in two months, within only two weeks, the gloves are finished," he said.

"Undersupply of delivery supplies is very frustrating, and this situation is not helped by a limited budget. We need increased budget for the hospital to address such challenges," he added.

How the supplies were tracked

On the 15th of June, the head of investigations at HMU received information from a whistle-blower that a car had been loaded with stolen government drugs and supplies at Kamwokya centre.

The car was impounded at Kira Road Police Station and the suspect by names of Francis Afashimana was arrested and detained at the station pending search of the car and further inquiries.

Upon searching, the HMU team found the stolen supplies and drugs, though some boxes had labels tempered with.

The case papers were submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), for perusal and legal advice.

Phionah Abaasa the HMUcommunications officer said charges of unlawful possession of government stores were sanctioned against Afashimana who was released on Police bond.

Afashimana was arrested on the July, 10th and charged at Buganda Road Court.

Abaasa said Afashimana pleaded guilty to the charges, was convicted and sentenced to a fine of sh650,000 or imprisonment for 12 months in default.

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