Oxygen Stock Out: Health Ministry Under Fire over Death of 3 Babies

Members of Parliament sitting on the Parliament Budget committee have grilled officers from Ministry of Health over the death of three babies due to lack of oxygen at Mulago Obstetrics and Gynecology department in Kawempe.

Three pre-term babies are said to have passed away last Thursday after the oxygen in the cylinder they were sharing was finished.

The legislators were concerned that last financial year, parliament allocated Shs15 Billion to set up Oxygen Plants at Referral Hospitals to avoid such incidents.

Minister of Health Dr. Ruth Aceng and Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwiine, who were appearing before the committee to present their Supplementary Budget  request for the financial Year 2017/18 were tasked to explain the deaths and how the funds were utilized.

Chairperson of the Budget committee Hon. Amos Lugoloobi said the incident was embarrassing to the entire health sector.

Lugoloobi accused the Permanent Secretary of sleeping on her job noting that when she was still the Director at the Health Monitoring Unit of State House she knew all the gaps in the health sector unlike today.

“From the different parts of the country, the system is rotten and the people have no one to report to; in other cases you can run to police but once you have a health issue, you can’t run to police,” Lugolobi expressed worry.

Mrs Atwine however, denied knowledge of the death of the babies.


“I got to know about the issue on my way to Parliament; I have inquired from Mulago and they have told me that the hospital is well stocked with Oxygen and that the incident happened in Kawempe. I will inquire to get more briefing,” Atwine said.



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