Crime & Investigation

How Namubiru Was Miraculously Freed

Namubiru Leaving Court after being released

Health experts in Bushenyi district have attributed the district’s poor performance in immunization to parents and guardians who don’t mind about completing their children’s immunization schedules.

The experts’ comments come following a suspected measles outbreak in Kasa village, treat in Ruhumuro sub-county last week where blood samples from 4 children and taken to Entebbe for confirmation.

Outbreak comes at a time when Bushenyi district was in October 2014 ranked among the worst performing districts in the routine immunization by the ministry of health through Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI)

The figures got from Ministry of Health Annual Health Sector Performance report for the 2013-14 released in 0ctober indicate that Bushenyi district  immunization rate stands at 91.5%.

The performance is one of the worst in the country with the national average standing at 95%.

The report showed that districts of Bushenyi, Mitooma and Sheema have poor access and poor utilization of immunization services where by many children under one year do not go to health facilities and immunization points and even the few who try do not return to complete the remaining doses.

Dr. Edward Mwesigye, and the District Health Officer said the district has lagged behind because the target is 100% which should be the rightful figure meaning that all children under below 5 years have to be immunized.

“We have made this slight decline due to parents who have relaxed and forgotten that their children need to be immunized against the killer diseases. Chances that children below five years will die are high. Its not a huge problem but the results are not good and we might lose our young ones if parents are not serious about it,” Said Mwesigye

Mwesigye added that  the last measles outbreak was three years back in the sub counties of Kyabugimbi and  Bitooma which was certainly a worry but a vaccine was applied and cases of measles have not been heard anywhere since.

“People had generally relaxed for all this time. Here comes a threat again but I hope the results will be negative.” Mwesigye said.

Dr. Viola Natukunda, the In charge at Bushenyi Health Center iv in Bushenyi town said mothers are excited over immunization on the first visit (day of immunization) because they have a model family planning and they know children are well and this makes them sit home and forget about completing the routines.

“I think they need continuous sensitization and we are improving as a facility with guidelines from the stakeholders who make sure that we have clients in each department. However, we have some groups of people who don’t believe in Immunization. You find that they have myths and misconceptions that take them a stray and they end up missing the service. That’s where we need government’s hand in the struggle in order to get good and promising results.” Said Viola

The district health officer, Dr. Mwesigye said that the same relaxation among parents has not only affected the health of communities but has also caused other diseases most especially hygiene related ones since sanitation in homes is still poor.

Mwesigye said that 11% of the homes in the district didn’t have latrines meaning that out of every 100 households in Bushenyi, 11 don’t have latrines which are brought about by family heads who mind less on ensuring sanitation. He further added that all diseases can be gotten rid of if parents are not reluctant.

The Bushenyi district health educator, Charles Babikunyamu said that as a district they have tried to sensitize the masses about immunization through use of Village Health Teams who work with health officials to ensure availability of vaccines in the facilities around the district.

However, Charles stressed that their district sensitization programs on immunization are crippled by hard means of getting people which makes only use of VHTs which are relied on.

He added that media houses which would be the most effective channels for sensitization have not been used because of limited resources at the district.

“We need a combined effort by all people to make our good health strategies a success in the district. That’s how we shall be able to produce good immunization results,” said Charles.
The High Court in Kampala on Friday morning set free Rosemary Namubiru, drugs a nurse who was recently convicted of injecting a baby with HIV+ blood earlier this year.

The then Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, viagra Olive Kazarwe in May this year sentenced Namubiru to 3 years imprisonment after being found guilty of professional negligence contrary to section 171 of the penal code act for pricking a baby with a cannula that she had earlier used on herself which the magistrate said exposed the child to a high risk of contracting HIV AIDS considering the fact that the accused was aware of the fact that she was HIV positive.

However Namubiru through her lawyers led by Steven Ssenkeezi appealed against the sentence stressing that the trial magistrate had failed to evaluate evidence  on record before convicting the 64 year old nurse.
According to Namubiru’s lawyers, story there was inconsistency in the prosecution’s evidence adding that the sentence given to her was disproportional considering her advanced age, illness and being a mother.

On Friday morning, High Court Justice Lugadya Atwoki  stressed that it was a act of negligence for the nurse to use the same cannula she had used on herself before to prick the baby adding that the nurse was well aware of the right procedures that she ought to have followed after pricking herself.


The 64 year old nurse could not hide her happiness after the judgment on Friday morning.

The 64 year old nurse could not hide her happiness after the judgment on Friday morning.

“She was a fully qualified  health professional with an experience  not less than 30 years and she is therefore used to kids. Namubiru knew very well the standard procedure of putting down everything after pricking oneself, cleaning the affected part, plastering it and then throwing away the cannula used in order to prevent a risk of spreading Hepatitis B and HIV AIDS,” the judge noted.
The judge added, “She however put the already used cannula in the same tray which was wrong of a professional of 30 years experience. She disregarded the standard procedure and continued to use a contaminated cannula she wasn’t sure of. These were acts of someone unconcerned with safety of patients especially where there was danger of contracting Hepatitis B and HIV AIDS.”
The judge therefore noted that it was an act of negligence for Namubiru who was well aware of her HIV status which according to the judge was further evidenced by Nsambya hospital where the 64 year old nurse used to go for her treatment.

On whether the evidence by the baby’s mother evidence was truthful, Justice Lugadya noted that there was no doubt the mother was the sole witness and her evidence was clear that the blood was from the nurse.

The judge further noted that the time of the day, distance between her and the nurse were favorable for the mother to observe what transpired on the fateful day.

“The mother had interest to see what would happen because her son was sick. She saw her plaster her finger, prick her finger and observed the nurse using the same cannula on the baby unlike the nurse who says she doesn’t remember what happened,” the judge noted.

The judge further noted that before giving the sentence, the then Buganda Road Chief Magistrate was in consideration of the advanced age, ill health and being mother and therefore stressed that the 3 year sentence was rightful.

“This country is still grappling with incurable diseases and therefore court has a mandate to do something about it. This case was not about HIV AIDS as some members of society allege but  about negligence of health care professionals which would lead to spread of deadly diseases like Marburg and Ebola.”

However, in a twist of events, the judge said that Namubiru should be set free  considering the time she had spent in prison since her arrest but stressed that the nurse was guilty of negligence and the 3 year sentence earlier given to her was rightful.

Rosemary Namubiru on January 17 2014 while a nurse at Victoria Medical Center pricked the hand of a 2 year old baby using a cannula she had earlier used on herself.

However, on testing, the 64 year old Kenyan Nursing Council certificate holder with a 30 year experience tested HIV positive.

” I accidentally pricked my index finger and I immediately put down everything I was holding and I first attended to myself because blood was oozing out of the finger and I wiped it out before putting a cannula into the baby,”Namubiru confessed early this year before Buganda Road Chief Magistrate Olive Kazarwe.

She added, “I knew of the dangers of sharing a cannula and indeed it’s not advisable to share sharp objects and that’s why I was shocked when the mother told me I had used the same cannula I had used on the baby. I must say it was accidental and I never intended to do it because I had no grudge with the mother neither did I have with the baby.”


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