Police are holding two officials from Arua Regional Referral Hospital over theft of an autoclave machine. The device is used to sterilize and kill microorganisms in laboratory instruments, glassware and medical equipment.
The arrested officials include an Assistant Procurement Officer, Robert Dombo and the hospital Driver Nathan Oluka, who was found selling the machine within Arua municipality. Oluka later told police that he was working under the instructions of the Assistant Procurement Officer.
Josephine Angucia, the regional police spokesperson for the West Nile region says police has opened wider investigations into thefts of equipment at Arua Regional Referral Hospital. She says prior to the latest incidence, the hospital management had reported theft of hospital scrap and a number of other items.
Angucia says that the thefts seem to be the work of an organized racked within the hospital. She adds that one of the arrested individuals named a few other officers with whom they connive to steal government property.
Arua regional referral hospital has been cast in bad light in recent times. Last year in October, 14 children reportedly died due to lack of oxygen in the hospital.
A similar incident resurfaced on New Year day 2017 when a baby suffocated because the hospital lacked oxygen and the only expert who should have attended to patients was not available at the time.
Recent reports indicated that a number of patients died at the operating theatre because of power outages. However, URN was not able to independently verify the allegations.