KAMPALA – Leaders across the political divide on Thursday, February 13, 2020, decried what they decried as the country’s sick healthcare system that has left many Ugandans to die.
The leaders, who included opposition strongman Dr Kizza Besigye, People Power movement leader Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, wondered why the government continues to have money to fund political activities at the expense of the building and equipping hospitals.
They were speaking in Ntungamo District at the burial of Jovah Kyomugisha Kafureeka, the mother of Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga. Kyomugisha, 56, the wife of Ntungamo Municipality mayor Jacob Kafureeka, was diagnosed with colon cancer in India before she was referred to Evangelical Hospital in Germany, where she had been from January 23 up to when she died on February 1.
“It is difficult to understand, for instance, why we continue to lack basic cancer diagnosis and treatment machines. When I inquired from medical personnel, I was informed that such machines cost about $2m. That’s less than half the money that was availed at very short notice to fight the locusts invasion,” Gen Muntu said.
“If the government spent just a fraction of the money they use to purchase tear gas and disperse Ugandans on their healthcare, many wouldn’t even have time to demonstrate. When you have a country whose leadership prioritises the suppression of political freedoms over the population’s healthcare, staying quiet is not an option,” he added.
Mr Karuhanga said: “Our mom (mother) started getting pain in the lower abdomen in 2018 and went to the hospital but they could not get the sickness after two visits. We went there the third time when the pain persisted and they said ‘it may be cancer, you take her to India for PET scan because we do not have it in the country.”
“When we reached India she was diagnosed with cancer and it had already spread to the whole body and she was in pain. How can the country fail to have a UGX.700b machine that can save many Ugandans who normally travel abroad for treatment?” he added.
Gen Muntu and other leaders praised the deceased’s love for people and urged the children to emulate the gesture.
“And although it is a difficult time for the family, I pray they are encouraged by the fact her legacy and contribution to Uganda lives on in her children. We pledge our moral and emotional support and pray that God in His wisdom, provides them with the strength to go through this undoubtedly difficult time,” he said.