Findings and Decision of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council on the death of Jennifer Anguko

On the 29th of January , 2016, the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council ( UMDPC) delivered its decision in the maternal health case of the late Anguko Jennifer ( Mr. Inziku Valente’s
late wife – a Petitioner in Constitutional Petition No.16 of 2011) that lost her life at Arua Regional Referral Hospital in October, 2010.

After the death of the late Anguko, the Ministry of Health was moved by the Woman MP for Arua district to investigate the uncertain death of the late Anguko. The Ministry of Health then directed the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council (UMDPC) to conduct an investigation.

In 2012, UMDPC held an inquiry into the death of the late Anguko at Arua Regional Referral Hospital where relevant people and hospital staff were examined on the circumstances that led to the death of the late Anguko. CEHURD was invited for the inquiry and since 2012, CEHURD was following
up the matter.

A summary of UMDPC’s decision is highlighted below;

  • The intervention to save the life of the late Anguko was delayed . The delay was caused by a number of factors namely ; (1) Midwife did not get the doctor who was supposed to be on duty (2) there were low staffing levels that day – the midwife was overwhelmed to handle three emergencies at the same time (3) the doctor on duty did not know that he was on duty and Hospital director did not know who was on duty that day
  • The midwife did not use the standards used to monitor progress of an expectant mother -pantograph was not used.
  • The Hospital administration failed its duty to ensure that the duty roster is available and known to the hospital staff. A serious caution to the Hospital Director is to be issued.
  • The doctor that was on call that day did not know that he was on duty and when he was called by the head of department he came urgently to handle the case of the late Anguko.
  • The Ministry of Health was urged to ensure that Arua Regional Referral Hospital is well equipped to serve its purpose as a regional referral hospital.
  • The issues relating to the nurses/ midwives were referred to the Uganda Nurses and Midwifes Council for investigation.

Download a full report of findings and decisions decision here.

Press Statement: Release Obiga Patrick from IHK jail today – #FreeObiga


Download press statement here

Kampala –Uganda –Today the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and Ms.
Rose Obiga filed a case with Uganda’s High court in Kampala seeking for a court order for the release of
Mr. Patrick Obiga who has been illegally imprisoned and detained at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) in Namuwongo.

On the 4th day of August, 2016 Mr. Patrick Obiga –an assistant operations officer with Hash Security while on duty supervising his colleagues got an accident and while unconscious was rushed to IHK in
Namuwongo for emergency treatment. Mr. Obiga was given an emergency operation which successfully
brought him back to life. On the 22nd day of August, 2016, health workers recommended his discharge from hospital.

Mr. Obiga was charged a sum of over 38 million (Thirty eight million Uganda Shillings) as fees for his
treatment. His family has been able to pay over 20 million (Twenty million Uganda Shillings) in installments. Despite the partial payment and Mr. Obiga’s plea to be discharged to look for the outstanding balance, he
remains incarcerated at the Hospital.

This act of detaining and imprisoning patients in health facilities is unconstitutional and violates
fundamental human rights guaranteed in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda. In this instance, IHK is in continuous violation of Mr. Patrick Obiga’s right to liberty, right to be free from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. These violations are also in breach of the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act, that Parliament passed recently!

IHK can recover its out standing balances following due process of law rather than abusing rights of


We appeal to the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioner’s Council to:

  • Urgently make a communication on how to regulate practices of private health service providers in
    recovering their costs without subjecting patients to incarceration
  • Review files of all patients detained illegally by IHK and other private health facilities and make
    arrangements for their immediate discharge

Press Release: CSOs call for swift access to justice from Uganda’s Constitutional Court to stop preventable maternal deaths

(Kampala) Today a landmark case re-opened in Uganda’s Constitutional Court, Petition 16 of 2011, filed on behalf of two women who died in childbirth, Sylvia Nalubowa and Jennifer Anguko, by the health rights organization Center for Health Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).



Download full press statement here

EHURD and the families sued government, arguing that lack of access to essential maternal health care
services that killed their relatives was a violation of the right to health and the rights of women as set out in the Constitution. The case was re-opened following a ruling by Supreme Court on October 30 2015 striking down Constitutional Court’s earlier dismissal of the case in 2012.

Supreme Court determined unanimously that the lower Court had erred when they ruled that they had no mandate to hear a case regarding the alleged violation of health rights and the rights of women and
dismissed the case. CEHURD had argued before the Supreme Court that the failure to provide the basic
maternal health services to pregnant women in Uganda was a human rights issue that the Constitutional
Court had the mandate to hear, citing Article 137 (3) of the Constitution, which states that Constitutional
Court has the mandate to determine whether any act, law or policy of the government is in violation of any provision of the Constitution.

“This case is a matter of life and death for Ugandan pregnant women,” said Ms. Lillian Mworeko, Director of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS East Africa (ICWEA). “We are calling on the Judiciary to play its rightful role–for too long the plight of pregnant women has been ignored by government.”


“In Uganda access to essential health services for pregnant women is a public health crisis; the country has made virtually no progress in combatting maternal death over the last decade,” said Samuel Senfuka of White Ribbon Alliance Uganda. We know that this can change, and that the Judiciary has a critical role in altering the deadly status quo.”

More than 16 pregnant women die every day in Uganda, with the leading direct causes of preventable death being haemorrhage (42% of deaths), obstructed or prolonged labour (22%) and complications from abortion (13%). Major indirect causes include malaria, a factor in 36% of maternal deaths recorded, anaemia (11%) and HIV (7%). A positive ruling in Constitutional Court could have multiple direct effects on access to life saving health care services for pregnant women, such as requiring the government to remedy health rights violations through actions such as drastically improving access to free maternal health care services in the public sector, including emergency obstetric care.