Iganga Hospital authorities and police are hunting for an unidentified woman who sneaked into the maternity ward on Wednesday and stole a one-day old baby.
The mother, Ms Janat Tibaaga, 21, had gone to take a bath when the intruder sneaked in and took away the baby.
Ms Tibaaga, a resident of Lwatama village in Ivukula Sub-county, Namutumba District had been referred to Iganga Hospital from Ivukula Health Centre III after she failed to deliver.
Eyewitness accounts indicate that the baby thief had befriended the mother and had been helping her in many ways.
She waited for the young mother to be taken away by her attendant for a shower and took off with the baby, claiming she was taking it for polio immunisation in the next ward.
“That woman slept in that corner and was always conversing with Tibaaga. When her mother took her to the bathroom, she picked the baby saying she was taking it for polio vaccination. We did not have a cause to stop her because we thought she was their relative,” said one of the expectant mothers in the ward, Ms Agnes Natambi.
Sources said the baby thief had spent several days in the ward, claiming she was due to deliver twins.
The officer in charge of the maternity ward, Sr Zakia Konso, said the stolen baby was healthy and weighed 3.2kg.
Sr Konso said this is the second case of child theft at the hospital since 2010. She said the child stolen in 2010 was later recovered from Mayuge District.
The District Police Commander, Mr Herbert Nuwagaba, appealed to the public for clues to help police arrest the suspect and recover the baby.