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Injured Amuria Student Still Yearns for Justice :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Injured Amuria Student Still Yearns for Justice

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URN followed the matter and discovered that the patient was discharged from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital before he could receive the required treatment and surgery.
Abraham Obadia lying on the mat at their home in Napak.

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The 20-year-old student of Amuria High School, Abraham Obadia who suffered a spinal injury after being cane by a teacher is still yearning for justice. 

The bedridden young man and his parents feel frustrated that their efforts to seek justice or better treatment seem sabotaged by high-placed individuals who are instead protecting the teacher. 

Uganda Radio Network on 10th February broke the story under the headline “Amuria Student Suffers Spine Injury after Strokes of a Teacher’s Cane” The victim named the person who injured him as Samuel Opio, a teacher at Amuria High. But while corporal punishment is out-lawed in Uganda, authorities in Amuria have not brought the teacher to book. URN followed the matter and discovered that the patient was discharged from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital before he could receive the required treatment and surgery.   In Acukudu village in Napak distric, Obadia cannot sit or stand, he was found sleeping on a mat at their home. His dreams of going back to school were shattered by the injury he suffered following the teacher’s cane.   

Obadia’s father, Joseph Opolon told URN that his son’s sudden discharge from Soroti Regional Referral Hospital disorganized him since he didn’t expect it from the hospital immediately. 

He said the medics at the hospital had indicated that Obadia would require stay for between two to three weeks under close medical supervision but he was discharged. 

Opolon further explained that doctors had hinted that the student might require surgery but that did not happen.

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He suspects foul play.  He explained that the way they were discharged from the Soroti regional Referral was similar to that of Soroti Orthopedics, a private hospital.

“While at the orthopedics hospital, we used to get very good care from the staff especially the in-charge of the ward we were admitted in. But when some teachers from the school visited us, the conduct of the health workers changed. We were discharged without prior communication on the same,” he said.

Opolon adds that he later learned that the in-charge of the ward was an old student of the school.   URN has since learned that the patient was referred to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital when his condition worsened.   Dr. Joseph Epodoi, the Senior Consultant Surgeon at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital explained that whereas he didn’t interface with the patient, part of the treatment for such cases is physiotherapy which can be done at home. 

“By the way, with spinal cord injury, patients don’t stay in the hospital for life. So long as the condition is stable and it’s not progressive, there are other methods of management. For example, if it’s surgery, you are operated; if it’s putting on the belt, you put it on it and if it’s non-progressive, you go home on physiotherapy- you’re stabilized, you go home,” he said on phone.

He added that the hospital doesn’t have spine surgeons for specialized management of the case but noted that he will review the file to understand the condition of the patient before making further comments.

The East Kyoga Regional Police Commander, Damalie Nachuha told URN that they have picked interest in the matter and that the Police in Amuria had been asked to investigate the case and report the findings. The teacher, Samuel Opio was reportedly arrested last year but granted a police bond.

URN has also learned that although some human rights activists picked interest in the matter, not much has changed in terms of ensuring justice for justice to the victim.  

  At home, Obadia struggles with pain forcing his caretakers to keep him on pain relievers. His father said he has no money to take Obadia for more specialized care and treatment.