Buganda Road Court has handed a three year jail term to city nurse Rosemary Namubiru. she was charged with professional negligence
The sentence followed a guilty verdict passed against her for drawing her HIV positive blood and using the same cannula to prick a baby that she was treating at Victoria Medical Centre on Lumumba Avenue in Kampala early this year.
The maximum sentence for doing a negligent act, the charge she was facing is seven years although the court in its own wisdom decided to hand her a 3-year sentence. She had been on remand at Luzira prison since early this year when she was first charged.
While passing the sentence, presiding Chief Magistrate Olive Kazaarwe observed that Namubiru deserves to go to jail on account that she neglected medical procedures by exposing a patient to contaminated blood despite her experience in nursing.
The magistrate added that the fact that the nurse knew her HIV status as being positive and using same cannula on the baby well knowing that it would endanger life was an indicator of criminal negligence.
The magistrate further faulted the nurse of not having conducted herself in a much responsible way in such circumstances given the 30-years experience she had as a healthy worker.
Prosecution adduced eight witnesses linking the nurse to the crime including the mother of the child Ruth Ankunda.
In her testimony, Ankunda narrated to court the ordeal of how she witnessed her baby being injected with a cannula that the nurse had first used on pricking her index finger. The mother who was the first prosecution witness in her emotional testimony told court that she had taken her baby for treatment since he had a sore throat.
But in her defense, Ms Namubiru admitted to court for having pricked her finger while trying to treat the baby and that she could not recall whether or not she used the same cannula to prick the child.
The nurse had been charged with attempted murder in an unusual case that was seen as a horrifying example of the prevalent lax hospital standards. The charge was however revised following an outcry from activists. The activists argued that the nurse was a victim of rampant stigma.