Dr. Peter Mukobi, the Medical Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital wasnt available for comment as he was said to be away in Kampala for a week long induction meeting at the Health Ministry headquarters.
The couple whose newly born child was stolen from Hoima Regional Referral Hospital is blaming medical staff for negligence. 34-year-old Faith Erina, a Congolese refugee delivered at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital on Monday last week through C-section.
However, the child disappeared from the hospital moments after delivery forcing Erina's husband, Molomba Kalala, also a Congolese refugee to file a case of child theft at Hoima Central Police Station. Kalala blames the disappearance of their newly born child on negligence by the medical staff.
Kalala says the conduct of the medical staff following the theft of their child is suspicious. He told URN that neither the doctor nor nurses who handled his wife during the operation even attempted to meet them following the incident.
//Cue in:"Niko nataka...
Cue out...fika hapa"//
He says the hospital management only gave them one kilogram of rice, beans and salt upon their discharge, which dashed the hopes of recovering their missing baby. The couple lives in Kyangwali Refugee settlement camp.
Kalala, who remained at home to take care of the other children, wonders why the doctor asked a stranger in the hospital to collect a stretcher to transfer his wife from the ward, yet the hospital has support staff assigned to do such work.
//Cue in:"Akamupatia mtoto...
Cue out...mtu na hamujue"//
Jackline Uwimeza, who in charge of Erina at the hospital, says shortly after the operation, nurses asked her to go to the ward upstairs and look for a mobile bed they would use to transfer her from the theatre. Uwimeza says she moved to the ward twice and wouldn't the bed.
She explains that it is at this point that the nurses asked her to move with unidentified woman to find a bed forcing her to leave the baby with another unidentified woman standing close to the theatre. Uwimeza says it took her about 10 minutes to find a bed and return only to find the woman had vanished with the baby.
She says that after searching for the woman in vain, another woman advised her to file a case of child theft at Hoima Central Police Station. The management of Hoima Regional Referral Hospital is yet to issue an official statement on the matter.
Dr. Peter Mukobi, the Medical Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital wasn't available for comment as he was said to be away in Kampala for a week long induction meeting at the Health Ministry headquarters.
Dr. Tom Ediamo, the Deputy Medical Director Hoima Regional Referral Hospital told URN that some staffs have been invited to police to record statements. Dr. Ediamo, who declined to comment on the matter, also claims that it was the hospital that reported the case of child theft and not the caretaker as claimed.
The Principal Senior Nursing Officer at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital declined to explain to URN the procedure for handling newly born mothers and their children. Our reporter visited the maternity ward and observed saw caretakers bringing in mothers from the theater.
Following the theft of the child, the other people in the maternity ward have become vigilant. James Manirigaba, whose wife delivered their fourth child through caesarian section, told URN that he was forced to rush to the hospital to protect his baby from being stolen since there was only one caretaker.
Another mother who delivered through C-section says she moves with her baby whenever she walks around the facility. The hospital security personnel say they are checking all babies to ensure that they have been cleared at discharge.
Julius Hakiza Albertine, the Albertain Region Police Public Relations Officer, says although they have recorded statements from several people no arrests have been made in connection to the theft. URN has learnt that the last time a baby was stolen from the facility was in 2002. The baby was found within a day with a woman from the same village where the mother hailed from.