Category Archives: #UGBlogWeek

Articles for the Week long UGBlogWeek

Denied Blood, The Baby Died – RIP

“… I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug …” This is an extract from the Modern version of the Hippocratic oath sworn by the Medical professionals in Uganda.

As the week of 14th November 2016 came to a close, a young lady, pregnant for the first time was rushed to Mulago Hospital, Kamuli to give birth. Upon arrival, she was admitted and the wait begun. On the 20th of November she gave birth to a baby boy. Due to some issues, the doctor recommended that the baby be given blood.

Come Monday 21st November, I received a message from a long lost colleague and the conversation transpired as indicated in the screenshot.


Following the appeal for blood, I did get a number of volunteers but distance became an issue. However, with advice from someone who knew a medical personnel in Kamuli, we were told to find out whether the hospital actually lacked blood or what was needed was money to “buy” the blood? Mulago Hospital, Kamuli is a government hospital and some of these services are meant to be availed freely or at a minimal cost.

Upon probing, I was shocked when this colleague on the ground told me that he had been requested for UGX 100,000/= in order to access one pint of blood for the baby. The transaction was completed just as the little soul bid farewell to this world. With no name, he was gone too soon at one day of age.

Filled with emotion, I was taken back to a similar scene a year ago when my late father was struggling with cancer at the Uganda Cancer Institute and he needed blood. The personnel in charge had refused to give us blood claiming there was none. It took the intervention of the Human Resource head of Mulago (who happened to have a relation with us) for the blood to be released. Sad, So Sad!!!!

This reminds me about the hippocratic oath that the medical personnel are sworn to. Do some of them really mean what they say? When they vowwarmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife” do they really believe in it? Where is the sympathy when they illicitly expect a rural lady to raise US$ 30 for a pint of blood just to save the life of her new born baby? As a teacher, this is nearly half her monthly salary. The same oath they swear states, “I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.” Do they realise the economic terrorism and human genocide they are engaging in? Stories of Ugandans losing their lives during birth due to such professional greed are abound, but it is time we started talking about it. We can’t let ourselves be sacrificed at the altar of selfish and corrupt medical personnel whose primary drive is financial gain.

Many times we are quick to blame “Government” for not paying medical personnel well and hence the reason for poor service delivery. This however does not justify killing our mothers, wives and babies in the hospitals.If they strongly believe it’s justified, should every lady that is broke turn into a prostitute?; Should every jobless man become a robber?

There are some actions that stem from our morals and mixing them up with other frustrations will never justify them. How can you have blood in the hospital and still go ahead to deny a young mother the joy of raising her first child? When they sleep at night, do they really ever think about the untold suffering and tears they have caused many as a result of their lust for money?

Following the experience I got while treating a cancer patient at Mulago, I learnt that there is a network of thugs and blood sucking mafias that has taken over most of these government hospitals. These crooks overshadow the good that most medical professionals are engaged in. These thugs range from medical professionals to admin staff like accountants, storekeepers etc. They often times work in a sophisticated manner that their responses are very well syndicated giving the semblance of truth in what they are saying.

Once a lady at the X-Ray department in Mulago simply rejected any effort of helping us to access the services because we opted to make official receipted payments. Shame!!! What a Shame!!!!

If we have any modern day terrorists and blood sucking vampires, they come in the form of some of these officials working in the public hospitals. Before am crucified for being overly harsh on them, I want to emphasise that my concern hinges on those fungi infested rotten tomatoes that are making an otherwise glorious profession be rated in the same vein with the Uganda Police.

People are dying as a result of intentional neglect. They shed their tears over what would have been. Take it from me me, you may rejoice in the quick money made auctioning government property and services but the curses you pile upon yourselves and your descendants will be hard to undo. Only Jesus Christ will be able to turn the tide of those curses. Anything short of that, you’re just booking chambers in the deepest pits of hell.

With sadness, I want to say RIP nameless boy and to the mother, put God in prayer, all will be well.

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

Baby Photo Credit: The Nairobi Times

TimeBomb – Bobi Wine’s Prophecy ?

I have never really been a fan of Bobi Wine, one of Uganda’s most renowned musicians over the last decade. His lifestyle and choice of lyrics for most of his earlier songs were perhaps the major reasons I never felt him.

However, the Baganda say, “Obukadde Magezi” and this musician only gets better with age. His new found activism through music is adorable and anyone that has a sense of feeling for the welfare of society cannot fail to appreciate this.

I did come across his song Time Bomb (watching the video will help you appreciate this post more) while browsing through my tweets and without doubt was instantly moved. As a christian, am a firm believer in prophecy and the power it has over human kind. In his opening verse, Bobi says;

I would like to communicate
About tings
(things) de we have fi (to) eliminate
Ignorance and poverty, eradicate
And de wholla ghetto yhut dem fi educate
(Educate the whole Ghetto) …

To free ghetto (slum) people dem must educate
But education, expensive to get
(Education is expensive)
Is like you say we carry water inna b
asket (It’s like attempting to carry water in a basket)

Without doubt, ignorance and poverty are really hitting this nation of ours badly. We may bask in the assumed glory of poverty levels having dropped according to recent statistics but the absolute numbers of Ugandans in poverty today is much higher than it has even been before.

Education has become too pricey and the feeble attempt at free education by the Government is implemented in a manner that leaves a lot to be desired. How can a school with 2,000 pupils be given an annual financial release worth the annual fees of one child in a middle level Kampala private school?

Indeed all attempts by the under privileged to turn around their circumstances are akin to carrying water in a basket. By the time they reach their intended destination, the basket is empty.

The second verse is entirely in Luganda and below are some of the excerpts;

Kati temudawo mwelimbe [Stop lying to yourselves]
Ngamuwooza tusaaba government etuyambe
[Asking the Government to help you]
Opposition gyetusuubira etuyambe
[The opposition we expect to help us]
Mpulira nabo batukolamu musimbi
[I hear, are just making money]
Gwe omuntu owafamili omusala ogwomwezi
[A family person’s monthly salary]
Tegu`mulisa kumala wiki, kyovolaba ngamba
[Can’t feed him for a week]
Tutudde ku time bomb
[We are sitting on a Time bomb]
Eyagala kubaluka eno time bomb
[This Time bomb wants to explode]
Kelibaluka (time bomb)
[When it Explodes]
Temugamba temwajjimanya (time bomb)
[Don’t say you never knew about it]

In the last verse, more prophetic pronouncements come out;

Abasinga bibalumila muli nebisigalayo kumitima [Many are hurt but keep it to themselves]
Buli omu yandi funye equal opportunity
[Everyone should get an equal opportunity]
No matter the tribe
Netumalawo fitina
[So we can get rid of the gossip]
Nanti eno time bomb
[This is a time bomb]
Engundo mwetuyitta (time bomb)
[The roads we use]
Embeera yomumalwaliro (time bomb)
[The state of Hospitals]

You may read this and think it’s just one of these disgruntled Ugandans trying to disorient the society, but it is high time you woke up and smelt the coffee. The fact that you have a steady salary, booming business or even a network of rich buddies that cushion your existence doesn’t imply that these injustices aren’t rife.

Most musicians have resorted to singing erotically oriented music probably because it guarantees them the bread and butter they seek. However, kudos to Bobi Wine for standing tall and choosing to be an advocate for the under privileged. You too can save this nation from the Time Bomb that is amidst us.

Do not ask how, just look at what you can do with what you have, where you are.

Why why, why why
Yaga yaga yaga yaga yo
Why why, why why

Follow @wirejames on Twitter

Bobi Wine Picture Photo Credit: Howwe Music