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Hospital nurses suspended over Besigye visit

KAMPALA.

Three nurses of Abim hospital who appeared on television explaining the despicable state of the health facility in Karamoja have been suspended.

However, Abim Resident District Commissioner has termed as unfair, the suspension of nurses that received and guided Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Kizza Besigye’s tour of Abim Hospital.

Mr Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka said the nurses had been duped by Dr Besigye and entourage to access the hospital on claims that they (Dr Besigye and team) were bringing in a patient, and later said they were ministry of Health’s officials carrying out an inspection.

“It isn’t true that I am involved in any suspension of the nurses. They were tricked by Dr Besigye. In fact, they didn’t know that they were talking to Dr Besigye. It would be unfair to suspend them,” Mr Hashaka said in a phone interview.

On Saturday, Dr Besigye visited Abim Hospital, a referral hospital built in 1960s, which he found in a dilapidated state and that had been without a resident doctor for nearly two years.

Mr Moses Kaziba Nandhala, the Abim district chief administrative officer, has written to the three nurses, Paska Akello, Santina Adong and Immaculate Owili, who were present at the hospital, to explain why they welcomed Dr Besigye there.

In Mr Nandhala’s letter to Ms Adong, which is copied to the Abim RDC, he reminded her of the oath of secrecy and one of allegiance she had taken and stated that she had revealed unauthorised information.

The nurses are also being investigated for talking to the press about hospital issues without authorisation.

Mr Hashaka referred to the trio as “sweepers” (cleaners) without authority to speak to the press.

Since Dr Besigye’s visit, the poor state of the hospital has raised concern. Four days after the FDC presidential candidate’s visit, Mr Hashaka accompanied by local government officials, held a ground-breaking ceremony for the renovation of the hospital.

Mr Hashaka said they had already got a contractor, Pearl Globe Limited, to renovate it and that government had sent Shs322m for the commencement of the work.

He conceded that the hospital has been without a doctor since the interdiction of one in 2014.

The hospital depends on two visiting doctors from Marie Stopes and another international organisation.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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