Angry residents stormed Jinja regional referral hospital on Friday demanding the arrest of a doctor who asked for a bribe to operate an expectant mother who died after the operation.
The incident happened between the maternity ward and the main theatre of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital after the death of Hajira Nakato
According to Ssalongo Sam Mubiru the deceased's father, Nakato experienced some complication and was first admitted in Iganga hospital. She was later referred to Jinja hospital where she was admitted for two weeks with an eight months pregnancy.
Nalongo Mubiru the mother of the deceased weeping at Jinja hospital after learning the death of her daughter on Friday. Photo by donald kiirya
"I brought my daughter in Jinja hospital two weeks ago in search for blood after doctors at Iganga hospital referred us and recommended blood transfusion .They also carried out a diabetes test but it was negative," Mubiru said.
He added that he arrived in hospital at 6:00am on Friday to check on her daughter but surprisingly nurses and doctors in the ward had not yet worked on her yet she was dying with labour pains.
Mubiru said he found Dr. Charles Barungi, the gynecologist on duty and pleaded with him to attend to his daughter but he rudely responded and negotiated with one of the relatives to pay him sh1m so that he operates Nakato.
"My son Saadi Nsubuga came and told me that the doctor has requested for sh1m, I told him to go and tell the doctor that we have sh500,000 but he refused to work on the patient and further reduced the amount to sh700,000. I went and borrowed sh200,000 to topped up the sh500,000 I had in order to make the 700,000 which we gave Dr. Barungi" Mubiru added.
He said after handing over the money, Nakato was put on a stretcher and taken to the main Theatre where she was operated on. A dead fetus was removed from her womb and she suddenly passed on while still in theatre.
This prompted resident to storm Jinja hospital and demanded for the arrest of the nurses and doctors who were on duty. They threatened to burn the theatre but the Anti-riot Police was called in and calmed the situation.
Local leaders in Jinja also stormed the office of the medical director of Jinja hospital, Dr. Michael Osinde demanding to know the doctor who was on duty and to look at the file of the deceased.
One of the expectant mothers near maternity ward watching a fracas between the residents and Police on Friday. Photo by Donald Kiirya
Dr. Osinde explained that he was not aware of what had taken place in the theatre and asked for time to follow up the matter and know the exact doctors who were on duty.
However, Dr. Barungi was picked by Police detectives led by the Jinja district CID boss Vincent Okurut and taken to Jinja Central Police to record a statement as a suspect who was being accused by relatives of the deceased.
Okurut today Saturday said a team of pathologists were coming from Kampala to carry out a post mortem on the body.
"Dr. Barungi will be charged of neglect, abuse of office and receiving a bribe," Okurut said.
Meanwhile the Minister of Lands and Urban Development Daudi Migereko on Saturday morning visited the maternity ward after learning of the incident and found out that there were no nurses and doctors to attend to patients.
"Nurses and Doctors are in fear of being beaten by residents if they dare put on their gowns, so most of them are in casual clothes and are not in wards. But I am encouraging them to go and attend to patients in wards because we shall lose more lives if they do not do so," Migereko said.
Some of the expectant mothers who were found outside the maternity ward on Saturday morning said three women gave birth to babies in the night without the assistance of nurses and doctors but from fellow expectant mothers.
"One expectant mother brought a black polythene bag and sheets and laid them onto the ground in the labour room and squatted to give birth, in the process the baby cried and some of the residents who were in the ward rushed to assist her and she successfully delivered. She left today morning without a dispatch note from doctors," One of the expectant mothers who requested for anonymity said.
By Press time, the Medical Director, Dr. Osinde and the Jinja district Police commander, Jonathan Musinguzi camped at the out patients ward to wait for the pathologists from Kampala.
Dr. Barungi is still under custody at Jinja Central Police.
Residents gathered at the Maternity ward in Jinja hospital on Friday. Photo by Donald Kiirya