Two Health workers at Ntara Health Centre IV in Kitagwenda District, are on the verge of being arrested for neglect of duty that led to the death of a patient identified as Tracy Biryomumaisho.
Information attained by this website indicates that Biryomumumaiso reported to Ntara Health Centre IV at 11:00Am on March 29th, 2022 with labour pains, but the doctor on duty, identified as Dr. Karungi Christine, was not available and she did not answer her phone calls when the patient’s caretakers called.
Biryomumaisho remained at the Health Centre waiting for Dr. Karungi until her uterine walls ruptured and she bled to death, at around midnight, on March 29th, 2022.
Dr. Karungi, a medical officer who is the Acting District Health Officer, and her colleague Ms Kyarikunda Dativa, who were responsible for the patient’s health at the time, have since been put in the spotlight for having neglected their duty, thereby occasioning Biryomumaisho’s death.
This is after Biryomumaisho’s relatives insisting that their beloved would not have died if Dr Karungi had been at her duty station.
We have since established that Karungi did not report on duty that days and neither did she delegate any other health worker to fill in for her on March 29th from 7:00Am to 10:00Am on March 30th, 2022 yet the Duty Rota clearly indicates that she was the one on duty that day.
Her colleague Kyarikunda has also been faulted for neglecting her duty by refusing and/neglecting to refer the deceased to another health facility until it was too late to save her.
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Two close relatives and beneficiaries of the deceased identified as Ahebwa Mohammed and Keita Zaid, through their lawyers of Mubiru & Aruho Advocates, have since issued a statutory notice of 45-day to Kitagwenda District Local government and the two errant health workers.
The 45 days end next week and after the expiry the bereaved relatives will officially file their medical negligence plaint at Fort Portal High Court.
We spoke to the head of litigation at Mubiru & Aruho Advocates, Counsel Robert Twesigye, who said thus; “The plaint and all accompanying evidence is ready and we are just waiting for the 45 days, which end next week, to file the matter at the High Court.”
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However, an organisation advocating for patients’ rights known as Enforcement of Patients and Health Workers’ Rights (EPHWOR), together with Ahebwa Mohammed, have petitioned the Kamwenge Chief Magistrate Court with a complaint on oath to privately prosecute the errant health workers for neglect of duty, contrary to Section 114 of the Penal Code.
The Health workers will be arraigned in court next week to answer the charges preferred against him after which they will either be remanded to prison or granted bail.
We spoke to the medical Legal Consultant of EPHWOR, Kategaya Amon, who confirmed that they are exploring the possibility of further filing a public interest case on violation of the right to health, noting that this is a wake up call to all health workers to put the patients’ rights at the forefront.
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It should however be noted that it is act of neglect of duty like these that are making Kitagwenda District lag behind when it comes to implementation of government programmes.
Meanwhile, it’s because of such negligence that led to Kitagwenda trail in the recent District audits where it was among the last.