More than 300 Arrested Since Inception of Health Monitoring Unit

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In short
Pontiano Jjumba, the Assistant Director, the State House Health Monitoring Unit, says they have apprehended more than 300 people the unit started work. He says those arrested include doctors, nurses, medical intern students, pharmacists and individuals masquerading as health workers.

More than 300 people have so far been arrested for various health related offences since the inception of the State House Health Monitoring Unit. President, Yoweri Museveni established the State House Health Monitoring Unit in 2010 to improve health service delivery across the country.
 
It followed persistent outcry of drug thefts in government health facilities, absenteeism of health workers, and negligence of the medics and deployment of unqualified personnel in health facilities. The unit carries out random spot checks and follows up on complaints on government health facilities.
 
Pontiano Jjumba, the Assistant Director, the State House Health Monitoring Unit, says they have apprehended more than 300 people the unit started work. He says those arrested include doctors, nurses, medical intern students, pharmacists and individuals masquerading as health workers.  
 
According to so far, 180 people have been convicted by courts of law, 70 cases are yet to be heard in courts of law, 60 cases yet to be sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP and 140 cases are still under investigations at various Police stations in the country. 

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According to Jjumba, the team has in different parts of the country discovered that in charges of health facilities and hospital administrators consistently claim that the National Medical Store (NMS) fails to supply them with enough drugs as per the requisition. He explains that when the drugs are dispatched and reach the facilities, they are sold by some unscrupulous staff.

The health monitoring unit has pitched camp at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital following complaints of drug thefts, absenteeism of health workers and employing unqualified workers. 

Jjumba says several people have complained about health workers at the hospital asking for money in exchange for services and health workers selling government drugs. 

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Enock Karugaba, a detective attached to the unit says that some people connive with the health workers in health facilities to steal drugs. Karugaba also blamed the District Health Committee for failing to monitor the proper distribution of drugs in government health units.

Last year, the State House Health Monitoring Unit revealed that many government drugs, especially those stolen from health centers are being sold in DR Congo, South Sudan and Kenya, where they are on demand. 

According to a report compiled last year by the unit, theft of drugs is the key reason that has kept health facilities across the country in perennial lack of drugs, notwithstanding the fact that drugs are always supplied.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.