The Police director for legal services, Erasmus Twaruhukwa, said, “Under section 5(b), the Bill seeks to address forensic service delivery to which the Uganda Police Force is a primary stakeholder.
Officers from Uganda Police Force Forensic department (Left to right): Assistant Inspector General of Police Erasmus Twaruhukwa, AIGP Moses Byaruhanga, and SCP Samuel Ezati before the Health Committee of Parliament on August 10, 2017. Photo by Miriam Namutebi.
Uganda Police Force and Uganda Prisons Service have joined other stakeholders in puncturing holes in the Laboratory Services Bill which parliament is currently considering.
The Police director for legal services, Erasmus Twaruhukwa, said, "Under section 5(b), the Bill seeks to address forensic service delivery to which the Uganda Police Force is a primary stakeholder. Incorporating our roles in this Bill would necessitate changing the title of the Bill and putting a separate section in it to cater for forensic services."
Currently, there is no law providing for a central coordination and management mechanism with a mandate to manage and organize laboratory services in Uganda; which increases the risks of operating illegal and unsafe laboratory services in the country. The Bill seeks to address that gap.
Laboratory experts from Police and Prisons appeared before the committee and expressed concern that their interests and roles are not defined in the Bill.
On Wednesday, lab experts from Makerere University, the Virus Research Institute, ministry of agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries as well as those from the National Drug Authority also expressed disappointment that views that would cater for their interests had not been incorporated in the Bill by the ministry of health which authored it.
They criticized the Bill for narrowing the scope of coordinating and regulating laboratory activities to the National Health Laboratory Services.