Seven health workers attached to Namutumba Health Centre III in Namutumba Town Council, Namutumba District and Adumi Health Centre IV in Arua have been arrested for alleged theft of government drugs in two separate police operations.
Mr James Kyomya, the deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), who commanded the Police-led operation, said the suspects include the facility’s in-charge, Mr Richard Ndaye, and four others who he didn’t name, saying it could jeopardize the ongoing investigations.
The group was by press time Wednesday being detained at Namutumba Central Police Station.
Their arrest follows an impromptu monitoring of officials in all health centres in the district.
“Yes, we have arrested five staff of Namutumba Health Centre III, but disturbingly, drugs are being stolen by health workers,” Mr Kyomya said on Wednesday.
He added that his office got information relating to the theft of drugs, especially of those labeled “Not for Sale”, and has been conducting investigations with the help from patients.
“Many health workers in the District have turned selling government drugs into a business, which is illegal and shall not be allowed,” Mr Kyomya said, adding that most drugs that are sold include coartem, panadol and other injectable medicines.
In a related development, police in Arua City are holding two employees of Adumi Health Centre IV on allegations of theft of drugs.
The suspects were arrested after a tip off from the Mayor of Ayivu City Division, Arua City, Mr Marlon Avutia, who said he had been also informed by the eyewitnesses that two were caught attempting to steal drugs out of the facility.
The West Nile regional police spokesperson, SP Josephine Angucia, said the two female suspects include a midwife.
Additional reporting by Yahudu Kitunzi