The way in which the narrative on the Kasule-Mityana-Hospital tragedy is presented in the media is consistent with the tendency among us Ugandans to promote a misrepresentation of our health workers.
Reportedly, sadly, Mrs. Kasule lost two of her triplets and without the intervention of Prime Minister (PM) Robinah Nnabanjja, she would have likely lost the third one as well. Apparently, health workers at Mitiyana Hospital had given the Kasules a condition to the effect that “no money, no surgery.”
As I listened to the radio, there was a segment in which people were given the opportunity to call in and to share their views on the Kasule-Mityana-Hospital tragedy. All five callers (2 female and 3 male) that I listened to significantly blamed health workers and hipped praise on PM Nnabanjja’s shenanigans.
And this is the bigger tragedy among us Ugandans – failing to hold our duty bearers to account. PM Nabbanja is the political head of government business. She is fully responsible for the function of Mityana Hospital and all other public healthcare facilities.
I am yet to hear or to read reports on PM Nabbanja summoning the Minister of Health to account for the Kasule-Mityana-Hospital tragedy; a tragedy, more over, which the in-charge of Mityana Hospital blamed on stock-out of necessary materials, due to insufficient supply from the National Medical Stores.
The reality on the grounds is that against all odds – insufficient pay, insufficient medicines, insufficient materials, insufficient physical infra-structure – our health workers are doing a commendable job.
Dr. Davis Kibirige with his patient, my late dad, Engineer George William Obityo Owaraga, Chief of Ikaribwok Clan of the Iteso, and King George of Entebbe in 2019 at the triage area of Our Lady of Consolata Kisubi Hospital. See the smile on the patient’s face? It was an instant reaction when the patient saw his doctor. Prior to that the patient had been non-responsive. He only became responsive when he saw his doctor. And the reciprocal love that Dr. Kibirige showed his patient was awesome. I will remain forever grateful to Dr. Kibirige and all other health workers who cared for my dad for decades as he lived with chronic non-communicable diseases – high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t bad lemons among our health workers, that are driven by greed, for example. Whatever the case, however, it is the responsibility of government to weed out such bad lemons. If the bad exist and are the norm, then the first who have failed in their duties is government.