By Nakibuuka Noor Musisi and Vivian Nakaliika.
Today the 12th of November 2014, CEHURD together with Michael Mubangizi and Jennifer Musimenta appeared before her Lordship, Justice Lydia Mugambe to address her on the case against Mulago National referral hospital and Attorney General (Civil suit No. 212 of 2014)
While in court, counsel for plaintiffs addressed court that both parties have tried an amicable settlement in vain. The State attorney noted that they needed confirmation from the Solicitor General on how much should be paid in compensation- but is this all that the plaintiffs want? This is a question to answer. The reading of the pleadings indicates that it is a human rights violation case; yes the couple is entitled to a compensation but what are the key issues in the case? probably the State Attorney should have addressed court on the other issues of rights violations.
This case speaks to rights violations that occurred when the couple moved to the referral Hospital to deliver and were given one child despite delivering two children. It is alleged that the search for their second baby for the three days was in vain; they were only given a fresh dead body after three days. The DNA conducted revealed that the component from the sample of the fresh dead body was incompatible with that of the parents.
It’s a requirement by court that when a case is instituted, parties try an mediation failure of which court proceeds to hear the matter. The discussions in this case have dragged on since May 2014 prompting the Judge to question the delays.
“How much time does it take to receive confirmation from a solicitor general?” the judge exclaimed.” This has been the same story since May, at every court appearance you seek for more time to meet” she added…… “and indeed my clients are not getting justice they need court’s intervention my Lordship “. Kabanda David, counsel for the plaintiffs argued.
Human rights cases have to be heard expeditiously. Imagine an expectant mother following up this case and expects to deliver from the same hospital!! will the country really end maternal deaths? Would you as a partner to this woman prefer to take her to a hospital with such stories coming up? What is the safety of the children? We need to struggle to ensure safe delivery of our mothers, sisters, and wives.
Today out of 100,000 live births, 438 women die. This is an equivalent of 16 mothers perishing everyday- of preventable causes- therefore if we need to have them deliver in safer places, the hospital should be the safest place to deliver from. Theft of children shouldn’t be a factor to draw mothers away from health facilities. The case has been adjourned up to 9th December 2014 for further hearing- Justice delayed, is justice denied.