Theft of crucial medical provisions from Ukusijoni Health Centre III in Adjumani district has triggered an inquiry by security authorities. According to a report from the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), vital drugs and supplies, dispatched by the National Medical Stores on October 11, 2023, vanished under mysterious circumstances.
The missing items, valued at 3.7 million Shillings, comprise Rapid Diagnostic Testing (RDT) Malaria kits, HIV testing kits, and 12 out of 140 mama kits. Moses Bwire, the Adjumani District Police Commander, confirmed that statements were obtained from key personnel at the health center, including Raphael Lagu (center in charge), Joyce Ayiokoru (midwife and store manager), Patrick Idha Amaza (enrolled nurse), and Denis Iceta Onyibi (security guard).
Joyce Ayikoru, identified as the primary suspect, has been released on police bond pending further directives from the resident state attorney. “We have interrogated her and released her on police bond because we realized that they are very few at the facility,” stated Bwire.
Dr. Dominic Drametu, Adjumani District Health Officer, expressed disappointment over the actions of implicated health workers. He underscored the scarcity of medical resources in Uganda, emphasizing that such actions betray the trust placed in healthcare professionals meant to save lives under challenging conditions.
“A health worker is trained for, we are trained to work and save lives even in dangerous and miserable working conditions, but what is taking place is a betrayal of our own people,” he said.
This incident marks not the first of its kind in Adjumani district. Previous cases in 2021 involved the apprehension of two health workers from Mungula Health Center IV for alleged drug theft.
Additionally, last year, a pharmacist at Adjumani General Hospital faced suspension for similar misconduct. The recurrent incidents of drug theft within the district raise concerns about safeguarding essential medical supplies and the integrity of healthcare workers.