ARUA – Members of the public have reacted with consternation to reports that Arua District officials are threatening to discipline a nurse who helped take a patient to hospital after the district ambulance delayed.
Ms Doris Okudinia, an enrolled nurse at Ediofe Health Center, was seen in viral internet pictures wheeling a patient to the hospital over 8kms away.
And now, it has emerged that district authorities, including, the deputy RDC, Ms Alice Akello, have summoned her, claiming that she embarrassed them for reportedly not doing her work.
This has angered the public.
Samuel Tako said: “To blame the nurse for acting out of desperation is itself unprofessional. Instead of shifting the blame, the authorities should accept responsibility for their lack of action. It is possible that the ambulance was sent after realizing that the patient had already reached the hospital.”
Gooloba Elly said: In the medical profession, with or without SOPs, our mandate is to save life. We commend her because she was able to offer the best at her disposal since you failed to avail the ambulance services to her. Instead of blaming the poor girl maybe work on improving your infrastructure.”
Madira Davidson said: “I think GoU civil servants may need serious punitive measures. Why are they bringing conventional procedures in abnormal situations? Can you imagine this poor clarification. If your two ambulances were on duty far and you even acknowledge it; what did you expect the relatives to do other than improvising transport? Can’t you for once appreciate the kindness of that Nurse who accepted to help the relatives? If the ambulance reached Ediofe which is 4KM from Arua regional hospital after the patient had arrived long ago; then that means the ambulance delayed beyond 3 hours. How did you expect to get that patient alive? The District team should be crying for more ambulances not wasting our time pretending to be delivering empty results. Let citizens innovate. Off course we are watching your actions on the Nurse.”
On Tuesday, April 14, Arua District Local Government admitted that the Nurse did her best in the circumstances.
“We want to take this opportunity to appreciate all the feedback from the public regarding the story of a Nurse from Ediofe Health Center who recently wheeled a patient to Arua Regional Referral Hospital. We agree the event was occasioned by the delay of our ambulances that were handling other emergency cases in different locations. We also allude that this delay could have cost a life,” they said in a statement.
“Though the nurse acted unprofessionally like we stated in our previous statement, her act of humanity was purely intended to save a life, which can never go unnoticed. It is understandable that during this period ambulance services are overwhelmed, even in normal circumstances the service is insufficient because of the vastness of the district. We insist that no leader from the district has harassed or threatened the Nurse because of this act. We may not have handled the matter in a manner the public expected but we promise to do better next time. We urge the public to continue following the Presidential directives and precautions to fight the deadly Covid 19 pandemic. Thank you for your usual cooperation,” they added.