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Busia District Health Officer (DHO) and Others Arrested for Negligence

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Busia District Health Officer (DHO), Mr. Panyako Wabwire, along with three other local government health department staff, faced arrest due to the negligent act of leaving government-provided drugs exposed to heavy rain on November 2, 2023.

The arrest occurred on Thursday, November 2, 2023, following orders from the Busia Resident District Commissioner, Mr. Michael Kibwika, in collaboration with members of the security committee.

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Mr. Panyako, the District Health Officer, and Tezira Ngobi, the medical store keeper, spent the night in detention following their arrest.

The incident attracted the attention of Hon. John Mulimba, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation and Member of Parliament for Samia-Bugwe North constituency. He criticized both the National Medical Stores (NMS) staff and the Busia district’s health department for their negligence.

This issue came to light through a circulating video showing drug boxes abandoned in heavy rain outside the district headquarters, sparking outrage among residents and local leaders. Mr. Panyako Wabwire, the Busia district health officer, is demanded to provide an explanation for the decision to leave government drugs unattended during a nearly two-hour heavy downpour.

Minister Mulimba inspected the damaged boxes at the district headquarters on November 3, 2023. He expressed concern about the potentially spoiled drugs, suggesting they might not be fit for human consumption. He also highlighted how the negligence of civil servants undermines efforts to deliver services effectively from the central government.

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He tasked both NMS staff and district officials to compile a report on the incident and called upon the police to conduct a thorough investigation.

Apollo Munanura, the NMS Regional Manager for Eastern Uganda, assured the public that there’s no need for panic as the drugs, despite being left in heavy rain, remained unspoiled. He explained that the drugs were well sealed in waterproof plastic containers.

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