Medic held over suspected rape of pregnant woman
By Bonny Mukombozi & Maria Kaitesi
Musanze – A senior male nurse at Kimonyi Health Centre in Musanze District has been arrested by Police after allegedly raping a pregnant woman who had gone for antenatal services.
The alleged rape was revealed when the woman returned to the health facility three months later, asking for an HIV test.
The victim, who returned to the health centre along with her mother-in-law, allegedly confided to her husband about what she says happened to her, but the couple decided to keep it to themselves in order “not to bring shame to our family”, she says.
The medic, who will remain unnamed until investigations are completed, had reportedly spent three months at Kimonyi Health Centre.
He had previously been dismissed from Ruhengeri Hospital over accusations of sexual harassment, indiscipline and neglect of duty.
The accusations of sexual harassment came after several patients complained through the hospital’s suggestion box, our sources said.
The New Times also learnt that the same man had been dismissed from Kirambo Health Centre, in 2004, after he allegedly defiled a young girl.
“When my mother-in-law put the man to task, he told her that all the nurses were his friends and that no one in my family would ever get treatment if we reported the case to the Police. Pregnant women had stopped coming here for fear of this man,’’ the victim said in a report to local authorities.
In an interview with The New Times, the Director of Ruhengeri Hospital, Dr John Karach, confirmed the accusations, explaining that the nurse had demonstrated high levels of indiscipline and breach of professional ethics.
“We had warned him several times already. We wrote to the board of the hospital, which dismissed him,” Karach said.
Sources told this newspaper that later the medic was instead posted to Kimonyi Health Centre after he petitioned the Ministry of Health.
According to Arthur Asiimwe, the Director General of Health Communication Centre, the health sector doesn’t condone such behaviour.
“It’s totally unacceptable because it’s not only against the morals of our society, but also against the ethical expectations of a health provider,” Asiimwe said.
He dismissed suggestions the Ministry of Health was weak in terms of oversight.
“He was sacked (from Ruhengeri Hospital) because of his misconduct. But as public service regulations stipulate, he had to be referred to district officials to handle his file. It’s from the district that he was re-deployed to the health post he has been holding. The police are now handling the issue,” said Asiimwe.
He called on the public to promptly report such cases whenever they happen by calling 114, a toll-free line.