A new-born baby has gone missing at Masaka Referral Hospital forcing expectant mothers to abandon the hospital.
Several mothers who have just given birth have abandoned the maternity ward for fear of having their babies stolen. The confusion at the hospital stems from the theft of a newly born baby belonging to 23- year old Olivia Nakanjako.
On Thursday, Nakanjako gave birth normally to a baby boy weighing 2.3kg after spending three weeks at the hospital.
She however says that on Tuesday, an unknown lady came to her claiming to have been sent by her husband Sande Musoke, a resident of Luzinga village in Mukungwe Sub County, to take care of her.
Nakanjako says she did not know this lady but she convinced her she had come from the husband’s side to take care of her.
Nakanjaako says after giving birth she felt so tired and slept off. She narrates that on Thursday just as she was about to be discharged, the same lady she thought was taking care of her disappeared with her baby.
She explains that this woman gave her some money to first go and buy some foot at Katwe in Masaka Municipality. She however says when she returned a few minutes later, the woman had disappeared.
Nakanjako and her relatives are still stranded in Masaka Hospital.
Rose Nagaddya, one of the expectant mothers at the hospital has confirmed the baby theft. She explains that she saw the woman in her thirties taking Nakanjako’s baby.
Nagaddya suspects the woman who stole the bay could have been hired because she had a lot of money on her and the manner in which she was taking care of the baby was suspicious.
She explains in Luganda that a few minutes after, they heard her calling someone requesting for money.
Sauya Neragiye, another expectant mother abandoned the maternity ward after the theft of the baby. She said that she is not sure of the safety of her baby when she gives birth.
She says she expects to give birth this weekend. She however says she will either go to Kitovu or to a health centre because it seems there are is a group of thieves targeting babies in Masaka Hospital.
Dr. Florence Tugumisirize, the Masaka Hospital Director, confirms that Nakanjako actually gave birth in the hospital but denies responsibility for the baby theft.
She explains that by the time Nakanjako’s baby was stolen, she had been discharged from the hospital. She argues that once a discharge form has been issued, the hospital cannot be held accountable.
Henry Kavuma, the Masaka District Police Commander, says a case of child stealing has been entered at Masaka Central Police Station. He says police has also launched a search for the baby.
Last year, two babies were stolen from Masaka hospital. In January this year, a couple dragged Masaka Hospital to court after their baby went missing while at the hospital.
It later emerged that Masaka hospital had buried Amina Nannyondo and her husband Abdullah Kayemba’s baby without their consent.