A nurse at Ediofe Health Centre in the West Nile district of Arua, and a journalist at Radio Pacis are in trouble for embarrassing the district when they rolled a patient in a wheelchair for more than 2kms to Arua Regional Referral Hospital.
The nurse, Doris Okundinia out of desperation, put her patient in a wheelchair that she pushed from her duty station and Ediofe Mission Dispensary near Arua town to the referral hospital after the medical team had agreed to refer the patient for specialized medical care. There was however no ambulance to promptly respond to the call from Ediofe.
The district authorities are now accusing her of unprofessional conduct.
On the other hand, the district authorities are baying for Alfred Nyakuni, a presenter at the Arua based Radio Pacis who photographed the nurse and her patient and later posted the photos on social media.
The pictures have been circulating on social media since Thursday last week with captions indicating that Okundinia decided to roll a patient to Arua Regional Referral Hospital after some hours of waiting for an ambulance but in vain.
The two have been summoned by the District COVID19 Taskforce chaired by Arua Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Nahori Oya Awa.
Available information from Ediofe health center shows that Okundinia was assigned the patient who came from Vurra at about 7:00 am and upon realising that his condition was worsening, management called the District Health Officer, Dr. Paul Drileba to provide an ambulance.
Okundinia said the DHO promised to send an ambulance but she waited for it in vain prompting her to find means to deliver him to Arua hospital.
On her way, Okundinia met Nyakuni who was on his way to work. Being a journalist, Nyakuni took photographs and also interviewed her on why she decided to roll the patient for all that distance.
He later shared the picture of the nurse rolling the patient in a wheelchair after failing to secure an ambulance, which raised public uproar in Arua and the entire country.
Nyakuni claims to have received a verbal summons from Arua deputy RDC, Alice Akello, who on Sunday drove to their workplaces and homes with a group of soldiers to look for him and the nurse.
Dr. Paul Drileba, the Arua DHO has defended his failure to send an ambulance, saying they were attending to two other emergencies that needed an immediate response.
“On the fateful day, the In-charge of Ediofe Health Centre called the District Health Office requesting for an ambulance to transfer the patient to Arua Regional Referral Hospital but he was told to wait as the available ambulances were handling two emergency cases involving expectant mothers in labour from different locations,” Drileba said.
He says that the time the ambulance arrived at Ediofe Health Centre, the patient was not found on his bed because the nurse had taken away him on a wheelchair without authorization from the In-charge.
The deputy RDC confirmed that the nurse has been summoned for acting unprofessionally by rolling a patient in a wheelchair over 2kms distance and leaving her duty station unattended to.
He says Nyakuni is wanted for taking a picture without the patient’s consent and sharing it on social media.
“We summoned them to appear here at 10:00 am but they haven’t showed up. We are convening a meeting with the security team to find a way of getting them here anytime,” said Akello.