The autopsy results in the death of fallen Butaleja woman member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda reveal that chemicals such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol and several others were found in parts of her body that were used as test samples after the post mortem.
These damning results were released on Saturday evening. Cerinah Nebanda died on the 14th of December and her death has since been shrouded in mystery.
If this autopsy carried out by the government chemist and a UK Laboratory are something to go by, it confirms early reports that the legislator could have died of possible drug overdose although some of her colleagues have vehemently rubbished reports that she used any drugs.
During a requiem mass early in the week, the brother of the deceased demanded an apology from media outlets which reported that her death could be due to alcohol and drugs.
On Tuesday, MPs postponed the lawmaker’s burial that was slated for Thursday demanding a full investigation to ascertain the cause of her death.
However, during a special sitting to honour the fallen Butaleja MP, Parliament decided to excuse itself from any investigation into her death and resolved that burial should go ahead to which her family set Sunday as the date she will be laid to rest. Below is the Autopsy report.
AUTOPSY AND TOXICOLOGY FINDINGS FOR THE LATE HON CERINAH NEBANDA
The significant findings as seen at autopsy were congested lungs with oedema and patch consolidation. The pancreas had a dull outer surface and a haemorrhagic cut surface. The stomach mucosa was hyperaemic.
Significant toxins detected in urine, post-mortem blood, stomach content samples (and trace amounts in white wine) included ethanol (alcohol), cocaine (and its metabolites/breakdown products), morphine (and its metabolites/breakdwond products), codeine, chloroquine, cocaethlene and dextromethorphan.
The fact that some of these toxins/drugs were detected in the stomach contents is an indication that they may have been taken orally prior to death.
The detection of the products and their breakdown substances in the blood and urine indicated they were absorbed and distributed in the blood stream to various body organs and eventually excreted in the urine.
The post-mortem report by Prof Wabinga indicates that the need puncture wound seen at autopsy was for administering medication
Here below is a brief on the detected drugs and their effect:
Detected in trace amounts, is used for treatment of malaria.
Used as a cough suppressant as well as for pain relief. The patchy consolidation seen at autopsy is a sign of Bronchophneumonia which may present in cough. The deceased was probably on medication for cough (or pneumonia).
Post-mortem findings are non-specific but include intense congestion of the gastric mucosa (reported as hyperaemia in this post-mortem), odour of alcholic beverages (probably the sweet smell reported at autopsy), and congensation of the organs.
The effects on the body could be due to a cocaine or its breakdown products. Post-mortem findings include pulmonary edema and congestion (as seen at autopsy). Chronic use of cocaine is associated with cardiotoxicity especially heart rhythm disturbances (which cannot be seen at autopsy with the naked eye).
Morphine/Heroin/Codeine (and metabolites)
Depress the central nervous system which may lead to sudden death resulting from respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) or severe pulmonary edema.
The observed pulmonary edema and congestation, patch consolidation of the lungs, dull pancreas, hyperaemic stomach at post-mortem may have an explained link to the toxicology findings.
NB: The effects of the toxins/drugs discovered in the blood potentiate each other as do the adverse effects.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng
Director General Health Services
Ministry of Health