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A giant falls! Dr Ndyanabangi succumbs to cancer

Principal medical officer for Mental Health and Control of Substance Abuse at the Ministry of Health, Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi passes on (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi, the principal medical officer for Mental Health and Control of Substance Abuse at the Ministry of Health is dead.

Dr Ndyanabangi succumbed to cancer of the uterus August 25.

Reports from Ministry of Health indicate that the late Dr Ndyanabangi started feeling unwell in 2016 after she was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus, she underwent surgery and had her uterus removed.

However, she continued going for monitoring and went for further check-up in India where she was declared cancer free towards the end of 2016.

But late last year during one of her routine checks, a blood test indicated that the cancer had spread to other organs in the lower abdomen and that while still alive, she had asked not to be treated abroad but to be treated here in Uganda by her colleagues

Mr Emma Ainebyoona, the senior public Relations officer at the ministry of health confirmed that Dr Ndyanabangi is dead.

“Yes, we have received the sad news of the death of Dr Ndyanabangi, reports indicate that she succumbed to cancer of the uterus, she has been a great doctor and we shall miss her. May her soul Rest in Peace,” said Mr Ainebyoona.

He said Dr Ndyanabangi passed on today morning Saturday, August 25, 2018, at Mulago Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (UCI).

“She was put on chemotherapy but the cancer was not responding to treatment that in March this year, a swelling which had grown bigger was removed. However, she remained very weak but could still stand and walk,” added Mr Ainebyoona.

He revealed that in July this year, she was discharged after spending two months in hospital. She was re-admitted about a week ago but that it is on August 21 when she was taken to ICU after developing hardships with breathing and it is unfortunate that she passed on this morning.

“The Ministry of Health staff will dearly miss her and details about burial arrangements will be communicated in due course May her Soul Rest Eternal In Peace,” said Mr Ainebyoona in a statement sent to the media.

A relative said Dr Ndyanabangi until her death has been getting her treatment at the Uganda Cancer institute.

Her body has been taken to Mulago national referral hospital for postmortem and there will be a vigil at Namuwongo, at the late Doctor Ndyanabangi’s home.

The media fraternity has described late Dr Ndyanabangi as a dedicated, loving medical professional who was free with the media.

Ms Evelyn Lirri of the Health Journalism Network Uganda described her as a good source who spoke freely with journalists “We shall miss her and May her soul rest in peace,”

Dr Sheila Ndyanabangi will be remembered for her 34 research works while affiliated with Ministry of health that included among others; maternal mental health priorities, help-seeking behaviours, and resources in post-conflict settings:

-Maternal mental health priorities, help-seeking behaviours, and resources in post-conflict settings: A qualitative study in eastern Uganda

-The Social, Emotional and Economic empowerment thru Knowledge of Group Support Psychotherapy (SEEK-GSP) Cluster Randomized Trial: Recruitment and Baseline

-Tobacco use and presumptive tuberculosis in Uganda: findings from the Uganda National TB Prevalence Survey 2014 – 2016

-Perinatal mental health care in a rural African district, Uganda: A qualitative study of barriers, facilitators and needs

-Mental health law reforms in Uganda: lessons learnt

-Mental health law in Africa: analysis from a human rights perspective

-Alcohol use among adults in Uganda: findings from the countrywide non-communicable diseases risk factor cross-sectional survey

-The Effect of Group Support Psychotherapy Delivered by Trained Lay Health Workers for Depression Treatment Among People with HIV in Uganda: Protocol of a Pragmatic, Cluster Randomized Trial

-Practices related to tobacco sale, promotion and protection from tobacco smoke exposure in restaurants and bars in Kampala before implementation of the Uganda tobacco control Act 2015

-The Effect of Group Support Psychotherapy Delivered by Trained Lay Health Workers for Depression Treatment Among People with HIV in Uganda


About Dr Ndyanabangi

Dr Ndyanabangi was born in Kabale in a family of 11 in 1966. She attended Hornby High primary school [it was both a primary and secondary school], Bweranyangi Girls’ SS and Mt St Mary’s College Namagunga. She studied human medicine at Makerere University and had a master’s degree in Public Health.

Dr Ndyanabangi served as the National Tobacco Control Focal person at the Health ministry and at the time of her death, she has been the Principal Medical officer in charge of Mental health and substance abuse.

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