Cleaners arrested with oxygen concentrator at Mbarara Referral Hospital

By Anthony Kushaba

Mbarara Central Police detectives are connecting dotted lines that led the arrest of two cleaners at Mbarara Referral Hospital that were found in possession of oxygen concentrator.

The two Identify as Julius Bayizire and Didas Twesigye were arrested following a tip off from a neighbor across Mbarara Referral Hospital perimeter wall that a wife saw a cleaner offloading something from a movable waste container from the hospital to the incinerator, an apparatus used to burn waste materials.

The whistle blower who came to be identified as Gerivazio Owoyesigire happens to be a charcoal dealer in Taso Village.

He claims that when the wife called him to witness the equipment that one Bayizire hid in his ‘charcoal makeshift’ he immediately came in prior informing Joram Musanyufu the head of Cleaners at Mbarara referral hospital.

He would then ask the company of the hospital security up to the scene of crime where they asked for permission to do a search that landed on the oxygen concentrator.

Immediately, they apprehended the suspect who was detained in the hospital.

The suspect was then brought to the attention of the hospital deputy director Dr Francis Oriokot. Dr Oriokot convened a meeting which was attended by the Hospital Principal Nursing officer Mrs Hajjara Lubega, the hospital Public Relations Officer Halson Kagure, Mr Denis Akena, the hospital medical social worker among others security officers that interacted with the suspect.

The suspect admitted to have moved the oxygen concentrator from Toto ward one of the critical units in Mbarara Referral Hospital.

Toto ward admits many children and babies with wide range of medical conditions and some of whom are put on oxygen.

For starters, an oxygen concentrator is a medical device that gives to extra oxygen to patients.

Julius Bayizire, then disclosed his accomplice Didas Twesigye whom he pinned that he told him to smuggle out the medical device in a waste container as he promised to pay him some money. He was also arrested later.

The hospital through the public relations officer called police that picked suspects for safe custody.

Dr Francis Oriokot the hospital deputy director condemned the incident of stealing the hospital device that touches on the lives of many children patients.

SPNO Lubega tasked all area managers in the hospital to always take safe custody of the medical equipment and make timely reports Incase one goes missing.

Halson Kagure the Mbarara Referral Hospital Public Relations Officer said that the suspect will avail police with information in regards to the destination of the equipment.
Halson Kagure said that they have registered other similar cases as Dr Celestine Barigye the Mbarara Referral Hospital Director vows to put in place other mechanisms to curb down the theft of the hospital equipment.
According to Dr Barigye the construction of the hospital perimeter wall referred to as ‘great wall of Mbarara ‘ has played a significant role of minimizing free entry and exit but thieves use other tricks.
However, Dr Barigye asserts that as administration they are always on top of the game the reason they have been nabbing criminals. He warned all hospital staffs to jealously guard the property of the hospital as security begins with one’s self.
Suspects are currently detained at Mbarara Central Police for interrogation pending trial in courts of law.