Tuesday, May 29, 2018

UGANDA: Stolen drugs recovered, CD4 machine found in bar


Dr. Ojera Jackson Abusu

NEW VISION - On May 24, 2018, a suspected stolen CD4 machine was recovered in a bar in Kampala. It was in the process of being sold when HMU was tipped off and intercepted the transaction.

Three people were yesterday arrested after the Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) investigative team discovered drugs and other medical supplies worth sh25m in a private home they occupied.

According to a statement by Dr. Ojera Jackson Abusu, the director of HMU, the team received a tip off that the house, rented by a one Gudhugo Hassan in Lower Nsooba Mulago was suspected to contain government of Uganda medical consumables, and immediately swung into action.

Indeed, the search revealed numerous medical items labeled ‘Government of Uganda for Public Use Only, Not for Sale.’ Gauze, Cotrimoxazole 480mg tablets, paracetamol tablets, chloroquine tablets, metronidazole tablets and gloves among other medical items.

Gudhugo Hassan is in police custody alongside his brother Gudhugo Ayub and a one Karungi Laziya, who were inhabitants of the house in question.

“It is not clear at this point whether the trio are government health workers or how they got into possession of government health consumables. Indeed, establishing this fact remains the top priority of investigators on this case,” reads the statement.

A police file Ref SD 2/29/5/2018 of Mulago Police Station has been opened in this regard.

The statement further reads that on 24 May 2018, a suspected stolen CD4 machine was recovered in a bar in Kampala. It was in the process of being sold when HMU was tipped off and intercepted the transaction.

Police Detectives attached to HMU have since established the Health Facility from which the machine is suspected to have been stolen.

Four suspects; three in Bushenyi and another in Kampala, are in custody. There are also several others on the run.

The Police has also arrested a Sheema district leader over suspicion of stealing mosquito nets in the recently concluded nationwide mosquito net distribution campaign.

“In Sheema, some members of the public reached out to HMU with complaints of not receiving otherwise allocated nets,” read the statement.

Abusu notes that all the cases were brought to HMU’s attention by as a result of a vigilant public and he appealed to the public to continue with the vigilance.

“The public is also encouraged to pick interest in learning how to identify the markings and labels on government medical supplies so as to ably identify them when the need arises,” he notes.

The Health Monitoring Unit was set up by His Excellency the President of Uganda to ensure accountability for all resources, human or otherwise, in the health sector and has a dedicated toll-free line, 0800200447, to which members of the public can call (at no cost) at any time of day or night and furnish information pertinent to HMU’s core mandate.

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