Police stop family from taking student’s body from a Kampala hospital

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Police in Kitintale, a Kampala city suburb have stopped the family of a 16-year-girl who died at school from taking the body for burial until a postmortem is conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

Confusion on Sunday lurked at both Crane High School where the girl was studying and Kitintale Hospital where she was taken after complaining of headache.

According to Ms Pricilla Byamukama , the deputy head teacher, the school matron called her and the head master to observe the condition of Emilly Natukunda who was in her room. Upon arrival,  Natukunda’s situation deteriorated and she was taken to Kitintale Hospital a few meters away where she died upon arrival.

“We have health records of all our students and at least she was not on the list of those who were sickly. She was on an academic bursary given to her by the school,” Ms Byamukama said.

Mr Achleo Byamukama, the father of the deceased said he was at home in Ntinda when the school management informed him that the daughter was not well and when he dashed to the hospital where she had been taken, he was told that his daughter had passed on.

“The doctors are saying she died of hemorrhage but right now we are still suspicious of the circumstances of death,” he said.

Ms Rachel Tayona the medical officer who received the girl at the hospital said by the time the girl arrived at the hospital at 3:30pm, she had already died and they could not carry out any investigations on the dead body.

 Asked what could have killed the girl, Ms Tayona said she had no idea but the first information she got from the school authorities was that the girl was seated on the matron’s bed then she collapsed and immediately started foaming in the mouth.

“We could not carry out any investigations or even a postmortem unless the parents ask us to because the child was brought in dead,” she said.

As the family prepared to take the body for vigil at home, they were stopped by police that was led by the officer in charge of Kitintale Police Post, Mr Abwoch Akumu.

Mr Akumu said there was need to carry out a postmortem to ascertain the cause of death  because she died in a public place and there was need to know what killed her.

“We cannot allow you to take the body right now we need to ascertain what caused her death. What if there is an outbreak of [an unknown disease] in the school, how shall we know? There is no need to hurry to take away the body right now,” Mr Akumu told relatives who had brought a coffin in which to carry  the body.

The body was taken to city mortuary at 9pm.

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