8 July 2019

Uganda: Woman Gets Two-Year Jail Term for Injecting Baby With HIV Blood

Kitgum — Court in Kitgum District has sentenced a 32-year-old woman to two years in jail for injecting a baby with blood infected with HIV/Aids.

The chief magistrate, Mr Hussein Nasulu Ntalo, on Friday heard that Sylvia Kamuhangi injected a six-month-old baby with the blood in December last year with the help of her co-accused, Ms Grace Aneno, who was later acquitted.

Mr Ntalo said he had gathered enough evidence from seven witnesses, including the doctor who examined the child and tested Kamuhangi.

"The baby sitter, the crime officers who visited the scene and many others, all testified against Kamuhangi. Also, DNA blood samples taken from her at the government analytical lab in Kampala and the blood-stained clothes all indicated she was the actual offender," he said.

Mr Ntalo said Kamuhangi's case called for public outcry and she should be separated from the community. He ordered the immediate transfer of the convict to Luzira.

Prosecution states that on December 26 last year at about 9pm, Ms Eunice Lakot, the victim's mother, had left the child with a baby-sitter before Kamuhangi carried him away to the bedroom as Ms Aneno watched.

Kamuhangi later returned the baby crying. When Ms Lakot examined her baby after the duo had left, she found he had small swelling in both armpits.

She took the baby to Kitgum hospital where the doctors confirmed the swellings were as a result of an injection. The child was put on PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis), an antiretroviral medication that prevents infection after being exposed to HIV.

Ms Lakot reported the matter to Mr Ronald Okot, the village chairperson of Gangdyang Cell, before she recorded a statement at Kitgum Central Police Station.

The duo was arrested the following day.

Ms Lakot expressed her disappointment at the judgment, saying Kamuhangi should have been sentenced to more years considering that the nature of the crime was a capital offence.

However, she said she respects the ruling given the fact that her child was not infected.

Other cases

In 2014, a 64-year-old nurse in Kampala was accused of injecting a toddler with her HIV- infected blood in the process of administering treatment. Last year, a 42-year-old man in Luweero District was sentenced to 60 years in prison for defiling and infecting his three grandchildren with HIV/Aids.

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