MULAGO: The State House Health Monitoring Unit on Tuesday said it had arrested eight people for allegedly stealing drugs and medical equipment worth Shs25 million.
According to the Director Health Monitoring Unit (HMU), Dr Jackson Ojera, the items were received in a private home Lower Nsooba, Mulago III, Kampala, on Monday.
Among the recovered items were 113 rolls of gauze, 11 tins of Cotrimoxazole 480mg Tablets, 1 tin of Paracetamol tablets, all labelled ‘Government of Uganda For Public Use Only, Not For Sale’.
Others are 1 tin of Chloroquine tablets, 1 tin of Metronidazole tablets, – 6 boxes and 4 pieces of IV cannulae, 16.5 boxes of Lumartem 16.5 of 30 strips each and 66 boxes of gloves of 50 pairs each.
“The above items were recovered in a private house in Mulago rented by a one Gudhugo Hassan. He is currently in Police custody to assist with investigations. Also in custody is Hassan’s younger brother, Gudhugo Ayub and a one Karungi Laziya who were inhabitants of the house in question,” Dr Ojera told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday.
“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,” he added.
He added 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 responded and intercepted the transaction. Police Detectives attached to HMU have since established the Health Facility from which this machine is suspected to have been stolen.
“Indeed, detectives have confirmed that there was a breakage and theft of a CD4 machine and a Microscope from this facility. Four suspects; 3 in Bushenyi and another in Kampala, are in custody. There are also several others on the run,” Dr Ojera said.
“We continue to appeal to the public to continue with this vigilance and to call our toll free number 0800200447 or in the alternative to text 8200 with any tip or information of not only suspected theft of government health supplies but also of any malaise within the health sector. Commendations of good service delivery are also welcome. 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 said.
The Health Monitoring Unit was set up the President pursuant to support an efficient and accessible health system that works for all Ugandans. A key aspect of this mandate is to ensure accountability for all resources, human or otherwise, in the health sector. This includes health consumables like medicines, sundries and laboratory supplies. To be effective in this regard, HMU thrives on partnerships with other government agencies and the public.