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Stopping Hospital equipment theft is a citizen duty for Ugandans

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Stopping Hospital equipment theft is a citizen duty for Ugandans
Prosecutions are initiated against government abuse of government property; hospital equipment thieves  not isolated; we hear little of prosecution success. It is worthy my while that I interrogate why hospital property thieves go Scot-free? 
 
Have you ever heard your neighboring hospital report a died patient done empty handed due to drug stock outs. Expired drugs cost more than new drugs; what a shame? "While the National Medical Stores (NMS) cannot supply enough malaria drugs to meet the needs of Ugandans, it spends billions of shillings importing huge quantities of less needed drugs which end up expiring, the Auditor General's investigation has revealed. According to a report on the financial year ended June 30, 2009, NMS stocked Ranitidine, an ulcers drug, to last 27 years. Since medicines have a shelf life of 2-4 years, most of the Ranitidine will expire before it is used. The report squarely blames NMS for using flawed methods of estimating medicine needs. As a result, it under-stocks the most needed drugs and over-stocks less needed ones." (Cyprian Musoke; 2010) New Vision. 
 
Haven't we, in all the fore going blamed government irresponsibility? Wait when hospital beds or mattresses government delivered to the hospital were stolen. Who shoulders the blame, government or ourselves?
 
On the 15- June -16, the Daily Monitor reported: Patients sleep on bare beds; Asuman Musobya. This was blamed on the theft of the Mattresses of Bulunguyi Health Centre III in Bugiri district. The disclosure was prompted by an accountability meeting organised by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).  The Local Council 5 Secretary for works , production and Natural resources, Mr Juma Demesiano Byansi elected to demonstrate against the neglected hospital. I opine that he should instead moblise wanayinci (Citizens) to protect hospital property.
 
According to Penina Asimwe: Uganda: drug theft- the cancer crippling Health sector; in a post on AllAfrica website dated 14-March 2016. She quoted Dr pontiano Jumba, the Assistant Director to the Medicines Monitoring Unit, on the October 2015 thus 'Government medicines are being sold in Democratic Republic of  Congo (DRC) by Health workers in Kasese District.' After police intercepted the same at Mpondwe- Ihumbiriha boarder to DRC. This too compounds the passive citizenry. 
 
Also to note is, Rodney Mugarura, the Honorary secretary to the Uganda orthopedic Association- Mulago National Referal Hospital in the letter of the day of the Daily Monitor of 13-June 2016. He condemned health workers indulging themselves in stealing Hospital Property; challenging that, the arrested surgeon was
not one of them. Whereas his action is laudable, I put it to him that it would have been just and befitting for him to go an extra mile and cause the publication of his like the kind practitioners in the news. 
 
It is against this background that I evoke the much ignored citizen duty of protecting and preserving government property by the citizens espoused in article 17 paragraph d, to which government hospital equipment is not isolated. Public hospitals benefit the community into whose area it is built with the same serves them better when such property in kept intact. For that matter it defies logic when health users take to the fence when hospital property is destroyed or stolen as they watch. 
 
Such leads to untold suffering, fails fast tracking realising Universal Health Coverage, accelerates infant- maternal mortality and retards efforts for achieving better health out comes. if buying hospital equipment took government several years of budgetary preparation then government cannot afford to replace stolen equipment as many districts battle to join the unfulfilled pledges list. Locals' benefit much from a  hospital in their community these are a rarity in other districts that spend nights and brave crossing un-bridged rivers or steep mountains just to receive a pain killer. 
 
Let us take charge of seeing to it that our hospitals when stocked then whatever there is is safe from abuse; For God and My Country.  
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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