Crime

Arua Nurse arrested over death of two-year-old child

The suspect allegedly demanded a bribe of Sh210,000 which was paid to him by the relatives but still delayed a life-saving operation for more than seven hours leading to the death of their child

A cross sectional view of Arua Regional Referral Hospital (Photo/Courtesy)

ARUA, UGANDA: A nurse attached to Arua Regional Referral Hospital theatre has been arrested over allegations of abuse of office, negligence and receiving a bribe in execution of his duties.

The nurse identified as Paul Wamala was picked up yesterday after relatives of a 2-year old child who died last week at the facility reported the matter to the Arua Regional Referral Hospital police post.

It is alleged that the suspect demanded a bribe of 210,000 Shillings which was paid to him by the relatives but still delayed a life-saving operation for more than seven hours leading to the death of their child Aron Nabil, who had been diagnosed with intestinal obstruction.

But as soon as they arrived, the relatives say, Wamala asked them to give him 30,000 Shillings to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional 180,000 Shillings. Although the operation was later carried out, the relatives say that there was negligence that resulted in the loss of life.

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Josephine Angucia, the West Nile regional police spokesperson, says the arrest was delayed because the suspect had abandoned his workstation after the incident and his whereabouts had remained unknown. According to Angucia, the suspect will be produced before the court once the investigations are complete.

Meanwhile, Arua City Resident Commissioner Alice Akello has warned the health workers against soliciting bribes from patients saying it’s against their ethics.

This is not the first time that a staff of Arua Regional Referral Hospital is been arrested over abuse of office. The latest incident involved the arrest of three staff of the Hospital in February this year, over the alleged theft of digital x-ray machine components which they used to secure a loan of sh1.2 million from a financial institution in Arua City.

Similarly, in December 2021, the Inspectorate of Government arrested two former staff of the hospital over alleged embezzlement of 28 million Shillings that was advanced to the hospital under the Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) project.

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