The High court in Kampala has ordered Mulago National Referral Hospital to pay sh85 million to a couple they helped deliver twins, but failed to hand them both of them, claiming one died. Mulago did not produce the body.
Justice Lydia Mugambe made the order after discovering that Jenifer Musimenta indeed gave birth to two girls on March 14, 2012 basing on the evidence given to court by the medical officers on duty.
The judge also agreed with a human rights watch dog Center for Health, Human Rights and Development(CEHURD) that filed the case on behalf of the couple, that this was a proper case of negligence on the part of Mulago Hospital.
She noted that the hospital did not even bother to bring their chief administrator or someone from the mortuary to explain the missing twin, or at least issue a death certificate confirming the lost baby, since the officers that conducted the delivery insisted the second baby was dead.
Justice Mugambe faulted Mulago hospital for violating Musimenta and her husband Micheal Mubangizi’s rights to access information of the dead child, right to be availed the dead body for burial as an African couple, and their right to health for the untold physiological torture they have been subjected to for the rest of their life.
She then made further orders that police must conclusively investigate the disappearance of the baby and file a report on the same in court within 6 months.
The judge also ordered that the midwife Mariam Mandida who handled the body at birth and testified should be held to account for the movement of the body from her care.
She also ordered that the hospital should take steps to ensure the respect, movement and safety of the dead in its facilities, to which the hospital Executive Director shall make written reports every four months for a period of two years, and serve the same to Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), CEHURD who will also have free access to Mulago Hospital and continuously oversee the implementation of the measures.
CEHURD on behalf of the couple filed the case against the Executive Director of Mulago and the Attorney General who have since refuted claims that they are responsible for the disappearance of the twin baby.