Witness: We found boxes of ARVs at nurse’s home

By: BETTY NDAGIRE

Kampala: A prosecution witness in a case against a nurse accused of pricking a baby with a cannula contaminated with HIV-positive blood yesterday told court that they searched the suspect’s home and found two empty tins of Anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs.

Mr Richard Wekoye, an assistant inspector of police from Wandegeya, a city suburb, said he led the police search team to Ms Rose Namubiru’s home on Entebbe Road in Wakiso District.

“We recovered two empty tins of ARVs and the suspect managed to sign the search certificate together with her daughter as witnesses to this search,” Mr Wekoye, who is the fourth witness, said.

Ms Namubiru, who is facing negligence charges in a case that has dominated the public discussion for over a month, is facing trial at Buganda Road Court. She denies the charges.

According to the charge sheet, Ms Namubiru, while on duty at Victoria Medical Centre on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala on January 7, pricked her index finger and then used the same contaminated cannula to prick the vein of a two-year-old baby, aware that she was HIV-positive.

Earlier on, Ms Gertrude Kyomugisha, a senior nurse and supervisor at Victoria Medical Centre where the incident reportedly took place, said “yes” in response to a prosecution question on whether the accused used the same cannula that punctured her finger to prick the vein of a baby.

“Ms Namubiru told us that she panicked because the little boy was crying so much, hence accidentally pricking her finger with the cannula which she later on used to prick the child’s vein,” she told court, adding: “I cannot rule out the possibility that Ms Namubiru’s action was intentional since through training, medical personnel know that a contaminated cannula is replaced with a fresh one.”

Ms Kyomugisha was the second prosecution witness following last Tuesday’s testimony by the mother of the baby.

The medical centre’s medical director Abbas Mubiru, appearing in court as the third prosecution witness, said he examined the baby before the alleged incident and found that he was suffering from tonsillitis.

The trial magistrate adjourned the case to February 19 for further hearing.

Source: Daily Monitor

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