The lack of a dialysis machine at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital accelerated the death of the father to Minister for the Presidency, The Inspector can exclusively report.
Mzee Sosani Magunda, the father to Minister Milly Babirye Babalanda succumbed to acute pneumonia-induced multiple organ failure at Mulago National Referral Hospital on Saturday January 22, 2022. This followed a weeklong fight for his life.
And while explaining Mzee Magunda’s death to mourners that gathered for his sendoff at Nalinaibi village, Nawanyago in Kamuli district, Jinja Hospital administrator Dr. Angela Namala, revealed that the remote chances to save the senior citizen’s life were completely erased by lack of a dialysis machine at the regional health facility.
“The pneumonia weakened his body as it cut off adequate oxygen supply. The patient then began experiencing organ failure, starting with the pancreas, liver and kidney. At that moment he needed to be put on dialysis to mitigate death of the organs. This was however not possible because whereas we have the skills and experience to do dialysis, there was no dialysis machine at the hospital,” Dr. Namala explained.
She explained that they had to refer the patient to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala to enable him get dialysis; a thing she says could also have accelerated his death.
“The problem is that at that time Mzee was critical so putting him on dialysis straightaway was the best lifesaving option. That delay made us (medical team) lose two to three days of managing the patient,” she explained. She added that the exhaustive journey to Mulago hospital further weakened the already critical Mzee Magunda thus accelerating his death as well. She thus beseeched government to equip Jinja Hospital and other regional referral hospitals with dialysis machines to enable doctors there save more lives of Ugandans.
DAD MEANT EVERYTHING TO ME
Meanwhile, Presidency Minister Milly Babalanda hailed her departed dad as an irreplaceable role model who went out of his way to mold her and her siblings into the adorable citizen she is today.
In a moving eulogy to her dad before mourners at Nalinaibi Primary School last Sunday, Babalanda (who was chosen by her siblings as the heir to her dad) revealed that following her mum’s death when they were still young, her dad became their mum and sole comforter, pushing them to be responsible citizens in this country.
“I attribute whatever I am today to my dad. He has been my counselor, advisor and mother in the absence of mum,” she said. She praised her dad for being a devout believer in God and who always strived to follow God’s teachings in life.
“For instance, I at one time tried getting betrothed to a Muslim man but dad stood his ground and told me to wait for a man God was preparing for me. And indeed as he advised, today I’m married to a loving husband who is even a pastor in our church (Seventh Day Adventist),” she said.
Babalanda also revealed that it is this faith in God that her dad taught her, which helped her go through the triple tragedy that hit her in the past few weeks.
“I suffered a triple tragedy when I lost my personal secretary (Prossy Naggayi), dad and my in-law Rashid in just a single week. If I didn’t believe in God, I would have thought some evil was following me. However, as a strong believer in God, I left everything in His hands; which is why I was able to conduct some state duties amidst that biting grief. But I thank God for being on my side until now; it is well with my soul,” Babalanda who was moved to tears, said. It is worth noting that Babalanda was able to preside over the NRM Liberation Day Celebrations at Kololo on Wednesday despite her father having died the previous Saturday and her secretary having died a day earlier.
MZEE MAGUNDA LEGACY
At the Sunday sendoff, mourner after mourner hailed Mzee Magunda for his selfless works to country and his community, with his notable trail being the construction of Nalinaibi Primary School where final rites for him took place.
George Magunda, the Budaka Resident District Commissioner (RDC), narrated how his dad’s passion for education saw him team up with notable area elites like Kirunda Kivejinja to start up Nalinaibi Primary School.
For his contribution, calls were made to immortalize him by building a memorial at the school. In addition, Minister Babalanda asked government through Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo to help the school acquire more structures and also extend power to the school and the entire Nalinaibi area through the rural electrification agency (REA).
PRESIDENT M7 MOURNS MZEE MAGUNDA
At the same sendoff, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni mourned the death of Mzee Sosani Magunda, saying his death robbed Uganda of a reliable and ‘principal cadre’.
In a speech read for him by the Vice President Alupo, Museveni described the late as a development-oriented citizen who initiated several community programs including Nalinaibi Primary school and a Seventh Day Adventist church which have positively impacted lives in the area.
The retired Archbishop of the Seventh Day Adventist church John Kakembo who presided over the burial service appreciated the support the deceased gave to the SDA church and also commended the Government for the support extended towards the burial of Mzee Magunda.
Mzee Magunda’s death further highlights the need for more funding to the country’s health sector, particularly the installation of the lifesaving dialysis machines in more hospitals in the country. The death comes on the backdrop of recent revelations that the country has just 63 dialysis machines serving 46 million Ugandans. The number, however, is even higher following further reports that the country’s renal unit at Mulago is overwhelmed by regional patients from mainly South Sudan and the DRC; who prefer to travel to Kampala for dialysis instead of India where they would spend too much money.