Yesterday was supposed to be celebrated, but however, I can’t. Not honestly, not, no, not knowing that this process of procurement and knowledge of possible unnecessary demise of dozens of cancer patients, while waiting between March 2016 to January 2018 for possible treatment. It is insane.
Therefore, when I read crap like this yesterday, when the Machine was launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, I don’t celebrate:
“The Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has commissioned the new radotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute Mulago. This follows the purchase of a new radiotherapy machine after the old one crushed in April 2016. According to Dr Daniel Kanyike the head of the radiotherpay department at Mulago, 80 patients are attended to per day and they suspect the number will increase after the commissioning today” (Sudhir Byaruhanga, 19.01.2018)
Because, I have a letter dated back to IAEA from Dr. Byahagaba from 28th May 2013, where the funding of 325,297 Euros was deposited to the UniCredit Bank, Austria, Vienna on the 22nd May 2013. To start the procurement of a new Cobalt 60 Cancer Machine to Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital. However, this has been lost in the story, that suddenly NRM moved swiftly in 2017 and got it ready for 2018.
It might be true that old one from 1995 – finally gave way and broke down in April 2016 before the General Election, the same fall. However, that doesn’t mean, they started procurement and facilitating the funds for a new one. They used longer time and awaited the destruction of the old one, before getting a newer model that actually worked.
They didn’t act quickly or swiftly in this affair. They moshed it together in a stew and hope to get gold, instead they are boiling bones and hope to taste the real deal. It is a mess and was a mess.
Because I still remember this:
“Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment at Mulago hospital may have to wait until next year when the new cobalt 60 radiation machine will be installed, after the old one broke down three weeks ago. According to Dr Jackson Orem, the director of Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital, it may be difficult to repair the radiotherapy machine, procured in 1995, to render efficient results” (EA BIZ INFO, 08.04.2016).
Secondly, when NRM says April 2016, well, Dr. Orem speaks about three weeks before April, that means it broke down in March 2016. So the NRM cannot hold one piece of the story correct. Not even when it breaks down!
Therefore, the promise waited on results because of hardships to make a new space and have a new machine in where the old one was. The Uganda Cancer Institute had to wait and secure funding for a new one, even if they had already started procurement in 2013. Something they should have focused one, before making sure the old one crashed. This has clearly cost lives, since the Cancer patients have not been sent in drones in Kenya. They got some promises to Aga Khan in Kenya, but that was only for a few lucky ones. We can imagine how many cancer patients lost their ability for treatment between March 2016 and January 2018. It is insane, but also the structure and carelessness the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is known for.
So this has been a long await, which could have fixed before and was already in the making. Who knows why the authorities and the NRM didn’t fix it in advance, when they already paid partial payment in 2013. Years before it broke down. It is foolish and nonsense, when this is the only type of this machine in the whole Republic. Then, not being able to for-see its demise.
Well, NRM can think of this a propaganda victory, since no-one is questioning much and just is happy. The public shouldn’t be, because why didn’t they fix it earlier and made sure for a transition from one machine to another? Peace.
Let’s be honest and clear, the story of the Cobalt 60 Teletherapy Machine from the mid-90s, who was not sufficient and had not been changed within time. Was not a two-year long waiting period of nostalgia, it was mismanagement with the cost of lives and devastation. Any government caring about lives, would have planned and made sure of funding for a new one, long ahead, especially considering the last one was bought in the mid-1990s. This is the true acts of maladministration and misuse of state reserves. That is evident, and also that the Ministry of Health, who only had one these, couldn’t make sure the procurement went softly and made sure the facilities could be fixed in time to put in a new machine. Even if it matters of lives and people’s serious treatment.
Only two year?
“After almost two agonising years of waiting, cancer patients will breathe a sigh of relief after the new radiotherapy machine arrived into the country this week. It was shipped from Czech Republic through Mombasa port with guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body that regulates use of nuclear and atomic energy. Purchased at 642,000 euros (more than Shs2.7b) by both government and IAEA, the machine replaces the old cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine, which broke down beyond repair on March 27, 2016, leaving about 2,000 patients without proper treatment and some people died in the process” (Ainebyoona, 2017).
What about 2013:
Because I have a letter dated back to IAEA from Dr. Byahagaba from 28th May 2013, where the funding of 325,297 Euros was deposited to the UniCredit Bank, Austria, Vienna on the 22nd May 2013. This was funding for the purchase of Cobalt 60 Teletheraphy Machine. Therefore, the Daily Monitor or the Mulago Health Care Complex has given som wrong information.
If not the final instalment for the purchase of the machine has come in the aftermath, which is a significant sum of monies, since it is 315,000 Euros that has appeared and made sure the buying of the machine finally appeared.
This sort of acts should not let it go easily, that a state with millions of lives, that are in-charge of making sure their citizens are healthy. Only has one Cancer Machine and that one has been out of function for two years, and it took about at-least 4 years, since 2013 to be able to purchase the equipment and use it for the public benefit. Clearly, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Isn’t worried about losing their citizens or making sure the health is in check. Surely, the do not worry, since the President sends his own kin abroad to give birth. He knows the meagre state of the facilities of where he has resided and run. He eats the reserves and leaves scraps behind. The evidence in the 4 years in the making of the Cancer Machine. It is good it is there, but the time and effort is mediocre at best. Nearly depleted and destructive, as the concern of the cancer wasn’t even there. Peace.
Ainebyoona, Mmanuel – ‘New Cancer Machine finally arrives into the Country’ (12.08.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Sigh-of-relief-as-Shs2-7b-cancer-machine-arrives/688334-4054904-vf8309/index.html
This saddens me and eats my heart out, as much as the knowledge of the famine in Isingiro and the lacking systemic enterprise or structure of the Ugandan Government, which is continuing to faltering, not serve the public. This has proven earlier in the year of other hospitals without X-Ray machines, lacking medicines and ordinary sanitary products. Together with the only Cobalt 60 Teletherapy Machine in the country at the Uganda Cancer Institute at the Mulago Hospital Complex we’re broking down and not having planned to be changed.
On the 1st November the President Yoweri Museveni closed down the Makerere University and its affiliated programs because of strikes that have occurred during the year. This is happening since the staffs at the Academic Institution haven’t gotten paid for months upon months, while the students want their lectures to be paid. What the outcome of it came quickly as the Mulago Hospital we’re telling that their programs of interns we’re suspended together with the closure of the University.
Key Information from 11th November:
“Dr Asuman Lukwago, the outgoing ministry of health permanent secretary, said the education ministry was responsible for the university and therefore, there is nothing his ministry could do to save the situation. “We would be contradicting ourselves. Ministry of education is responsible and not us as ministry of health. There is nothing we can do,” Dr Lukwago told daily Monitor in a phone interview” (Namagembe, 2016).
So because of First Lady Janet Museveni lacking integrity and ability to sort out the issues internally in the Ministry of Education the biggest Hospital and others are hurt. It is visible that the decisions have repercussions of the lacking leadership in the Ministry of Education and under Minister Janet Museveni who hasn’t carried out her position; since she hasn’t been able to sort out the allocation and the central leadership of the famous University.
“The initial health care is available but there is a shortage of specialists,” Dr Bangirana said. To improvise the available staff, Mulago hospital spokesperson, Enock Kusasira said the hospital has resorted to giving more attention to critical cases considered as life threatening.“We are concentrating less on out patients especially those whose cases are not life threatening,” Kusasira said. At the hospital, patients have to wait for hours before seeing the health workers. The case is not different from other affiliate hospitals and health facilities” (Namagembe, 2016).
Certainly the situation at the Mulago and affiliated Hospitals has been put into trouble with the suspension of Makerere. When the Ministry of Health Sarah Achieng Opendi has to defend the records of the actual numbers of deceased infants you know the system, the structure is rotten to the core. This isn’t really working and the innocence is dying. They are just read the statement in today’s Monitor!
31 New-borns deceased:
“The reports, according to Hon. Opendi asserted that the issue arose after the closure of Makerere University and the subsequent withdrawal of Senior Health Officers (SHOs) from the facility. “The Ministry of Health would like to strongly refute these allegations as baseless and a total misrepresentation of facts,” she said” (…) “Since the withdrawal of Senior House Officers on Nov 1, 2016 to date, Mulago Hospital has unfortunately lost 31 newborns,” she said adding that the deaths were majorly as a result of severe birth asphyxia and complications associated with prematurity” (…) “Severe Asphyxia is largely caused by prolonged labour, which is a consequence of late referrals. According to this statistics, Mulago Hospital has lost approximately one newborn per day due to unavoidable circumstances,” she added” (Mugume, 2016)
There is surely and have been deceased infants and babies during the famine and cause of the Isingiro, where the Republic and the government have dropped sorry loads of food-relief to the staving public; which has waited for months upon end. Sort of the same way the empty pockets of Makerere University lectures has been short-changed for months upon end. This is systemic maladministration from the head. What is worst is that the ones that are in charge are walking away, but the ones affected are being hurt. It is the innocent, the kids, the rural families; the ones are not MPs with flashy cars, lavish salaries but no taxes and all other perks. The same month that Makerere is closed the Income Tax Amendment that stops MPs for getting tax and the same month the MPs add-on more fees for “service car” in their duty.
The new-borns are dying at Kawempe Hospital, a Hospital that is affiliated with Mulago Hospital Complex. The Promise from Enock Kusasira we’re more a pre-warning than facts of their mission. They couldn’t control the effect of the closure of Makerere, as the President didn’t think of the effects or knew of the effects. His micro-management has caused severe effect for dozens of lives, not only the students that have their studies postponed and their degrees put-on hold. But the lives at Mulago and affiliates have been hurt.
The innocent children born into the world, doesn’t care about misrepresentation, taxation without representation or skimming funds. They care about their sanitary, loving mother and father; and occasionally food. They don’t care about the flashy cars for the MPs or the Ministry of Health Sarah Opendi’s resignation to the force of Janet Museveni.
Each family that has been affected by the decision of the President should be asked for forgiveness from the state, they lost their new-born. They lost their kid and the future of new-born something that should been made sure by the state. The State lost their way when they are responsible for the neglect of taking care of the mother and her baby at the hospital. That is supposed to be a safe-zone and make sure the families are in good hands. Each one of them are one too many to lose. The President has their souls on his hand, since he caused the effect and made the decision to suspend Makerere University. That has in return cause the innocent loss of lives.
This is how much that the President cares about the civil service, his teachers, his ministries and the citizens. He offers a Visitations Committee instead of allocating funds and giving way so that the Makerere can open and save life. More the public display of utter nonsense is more casual than actually acting on the loss of life. The innocent lives dies while the President orders are lingering, not only at Kawempe Hospital, but at the regions of Isingiro and Karamoja; the President couldn’t care less as the help showed has to be shown on the NTV and UBC before he cares.
The reckless policies and ineffective are now insulting to the public in Uganda, time for President Museveni to take charge and show leadership; has to make the right decisions and might even have to cough up some ghost-monies, some other shadow funding to pay his civil servants at the Hospitals and at the University! Peace.
Namagembe, Lilian – ‘Health ministry stuck as Mulago crisis deepens after Makerere closure’ (11.11.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Health-ministry-Mulago-crisis-deepens-Makerere-closure/688334-3448994-747buj/index.html
Mugume, Paul – ‘Minister Opendi Speaks Out on Neonatal Deaths at Kawempe Hospital’ (23.11.2016) link: http://www.chimpreports.com/minister-opendi-speaks-out-on-neonatal-deaths-at-kawempe-hospital/