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New Wave of Theft Hits Health Facilities in Teso

In Soroti district, unknown assailants broke into Ojom HC II in Oculoi Sub County on May 2, 2022. The thugs made off with all the medical supplies in the facility. Police investigations indicate that the thieves took away 82 boxes of coartem for adults and children and other drugs, whose value hasn’t been established.
Mothers waiting for the midwife at Maternity Unit in Kagwara HC2

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 Unknown thugs in Teso sub-region are wreaking havoc at health facilities. The most affected are Health Center IIs. According to police records, there has been an increase in break-ins at HC IIs in almost every district. Since the beginning of May, the Police in East Kyoga has recorded at least four break-ins at HC IIs.

In Soroti district, unknown assailants broke into Ojom HC II in Oculoi Sub County on May 2, 2022. The thugs made off with all the medical supplies in the facility. Police investigations indicate that the thieves took away 82 boxes of coartem for adults and children and other drugs, whose value hasn’t been established.

On Tuesday night, unknown thugs broke into Opuyo HC II in Soroti City East Division and took away unspecified amounts of drugs. In Serere district, thugs broke into Kateta- Moru HC II and stole all the drugs in the store over the weekend. The weekend attack comes in less than two months when thieves broke into another health facility in the district. In Kaberamaido district, the police recorded another case of theft in Aperikira HC III by unknown criminals. 

Police preliminary findings indicate that the thugs broke the door to gain access to the store where they stole an unspecified amount of drugs.   However, the Police findings in Ojom HC II indicate that the outer door was opened using the facility key and the store door broken into. The findings further indicate that there was no staff at the facility during the attack. For Aperikira HC II, there was no physical break-in but the door appeared like it had been opened using its keys. 

Oscar Gregg Ageca, the East Kyoga Regional Police Spokesman, says that although they have some suspects who they are following up, no arrests have been made in the recent cases. “All the affected facilities don’t have security guards, lights or Cameras to help contain these acts. In most cases, when the case is reported and the Police dog is introduced to the scene, it always ends up on the highway where drugs are loaded into cars”, he said. 

In Ojom, one of the nurses said that they have been asked to pay for the stolen drugs. The nurse who preferred anonymity says that the community neighbouring the facility is hostile, adding that getting out at night, even if there is noise at the facility is a big risk.

Abraham Ekwaru, the Soroti District Communications Officer, said that he had not yet been furnished with the detail of the incident to comment on the matter. Stephen Ochola, the Serere District Chairperson who doubles as the chairperson of Teso district chairpersons says that there is a need for security and infrastructure boost in HC2 to address the insecurity cropping in the health facilities.

//Cue in” “I don’t know…   

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