Ugandan Nurse Sentenced to 3 Years for Attempting To Spread HIV to Toddler

F2FA May 20, 2014


On Monday, a Ugandan court sentenced nurse Rosemary Namubiru (pictured) to three years in prison for allegedly trying to infect a 2-year-old boy with HIV/AIDS, according to the BBC, but some HIV/AIDS activists are arguing that the real news in this case reveals the ongoing social stigma and disdain the public has for those who are infected with the disease.

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Sixty-four-year-old Namubiru is infamously referred to as the “killer nurse,” since pricking her finger with a needle at Victoria Medical Centre as she attempted to find a vein on the young boy who had been brought to the hospital for a sore throat by his mother, Ruth Ankunda.

Even though the boy wasn’t infected with HIV during her mishandling — and she said it was a mistake — Namubiru immediately found herself in a five-month public trial, where she was accused by the child’s father of trying to infect the child intentionally.

“It is extremely hard to feel happiness in such circumstances without really getting to the bottom of the matter and finding out why Namubiru, without any provocation, went out of her way to infect our child,” Daniel Mushabe said.

Mushabe also says he supports the courts ruling and hopes that the case would encourage Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, to sign a bill that criminalizes the transmission of HIV.

The BBC reports:

“The bill – already approved by parliament – says anyone who wilfully passes on HIV could face a fine of $1,900 (£1,130), a 10-year jail term or both.”

During the trial, Namubiru admitted to pricking her finger but said she couldn’t remember whether she changed the needle for the child.

Red Pepper reports:

“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.”

Before the ruling, Namubiru, who has 30 years of experience as a pediatric nurse, was being held at Luzira prison and was facing a seven-year sentence for allegedly performing a “negligent act.” With the exception of her lawyer, David Kabanda, and HIV/AIDS activists, Namubiru has been seen as a villain in the case with the public commenting:




The law needs to be clear, prevention is better than cure. Nurses and doctors who are HIS positive should not be allowed to come near a syringe and a needle. If this is not done there are more of these professionals who just behave like this nurse. I mean they have to this attitude of not going down alone.

I am not surprised that ministry of health has nit commented on this issue.


The way how this lady was handled, i can assure you that it will never prevent crime, some things need to be discussed closed door, talk to someone like her in a manner that will make her tell the truth what really happened, sometimes psycologically you could say you did it out of fear and the crowd around you. Look at that Lady sincerly her story is really confusing and by the way how can the hospital hire her on what basis? There so many un answered questioned in this show. Police shoud learn how to prepare for a press conference to release a topic on some suspected crime, what if one did not do the crime? The image can never be repaired even the relatives and friends are always affected. We have a long road to go


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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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