Prison Warders Abandon Dead Inmate in Jinja Hospital

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In short
Medical forms seen by URN indicate that the prisoner known as Byamugisha Ronald, from Mubende district was taken to Jinja hospital by Kirinya prison warders for treatment after suffering from pelvic ulcers and malaria.

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital is stuck with a body of a prisoner who died as he bought drugs from a pharmacy on Monday.

Medical forms seen by URN indicate that the prisoner known as Byamugisha Ronald, from Mubende district was taken to Jinja hospital by Kirinya prison warders for treatment after suffering from pelvic ulcers and malaria.

However, at the hospital, he was given part of the drugs and asked to buy the rest from a pharmacy due to stock out at the government facility.  He reportedly dropped dead as he bought the prescribed medicine from Nile pharmacy, a few meters away from Jinja Regional Referral Hospital.

A source working in Jinja hospital told URN that Byamugisha's body was carried by the prison warders to the hospital mortuary immediately after his death.

"They brought the body here, undressed it and went away. Normally when prisoners die here, we burn all the clothes including the blankets.  We were surprised when the officers took the uniforms." the source said.

However, URN has learnt that officials from Kirinya prison took contacts of the family members of the late to the hospital administration to contact his relatives. But no one has turned up to claim the body from the hospital which is operating without mortuary refrigerators and freezers.

"The body is there on the bed naked without even a single bed sheet. We are afraid that if his relatives do not turn up by end of this week, we may face a disaster." the source added.

But by Wednesday afternoon, Dr Sophie Namasopo-Oleja, the executive director of Jinja Regional Referral hospital said she had no information about the deceased and needed time to cross check with the mortuary attendants.

Similarly Frank Baine, the Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson told URN in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon that he did not have information about the inmate and his condition.


"You are giving me news. No one has this information that you are giving me. Every officer am contacting says they have no information," he said.
 

 

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).