Tuesday May 31 2011

Arua referral turns into death trap

By Warom Felix Okello


As one enters the maternity ward at the only referral hospital in Arua, there is a smell of death and fear among the expectant mothers who are contemplating whether they will deliver safely after one of them died under what has been described as neglect of duty.

She left her home at Maracha-Ewanyapa village in Pajulu Sub-county for the hospital after she fell sick and was expecting to give birth with the help of experts, but she was denied the right to proper treatment.

As the people at home waited for good news of a new baby, it turned into sadness when the mother of five, Jesca Avucia, 37, fell off the bed due to severe labour pain. According to her attendant who declined to be named, one of the doctors left saying he was tired. “When she fell sick, we brought her to the hospital and the doctor told us that she was tired and would work on Jesca the next day,” she said. She narrated that the next morning, no one attended to her till she met her death.

The acting Hospital director, Dr Emmanuel Odar, said the child in her womb had died. “This lady was in labour and when we checked her, the baby had died in the womb and she had a bad discharge,” he said. Avucia’s death has now left many women in fear of delivering at the hospital.