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When Injured Museveni Sister Slept on Mbarara Hospital Floor Due to Lack of Beds – As Told by Doctor on Duty That Day

Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital sign post. Courtesy Photo

The Uganda Health Exhibition has entered its second day, with health workers making some really shocking revelations about what goes on inside the health facilities. The latest exhibitor, who asked online exhibition organizer Jimmy Spire Ssentongo to keep his identity anonymous, has revealed how President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s own sister slept on the floor of the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital simply because there was no free bed for this member of the first family.

While the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) led by its Public Relations Officer Emmanuel Ainebyoona has attempted to counter the exhibition of the deplorable state of health in the country, their efforts seem to be watered down by revelations from doctors, interns and other health workers. Ainebyoona and his group are largely focusing on infrastructure, sharing images of health facilities constructed by government using loans.

But inside those buildings are equipment lying idle because staff have not been recruited to run them, congestion forcing patients to sleep on the floor, overwhelmed health workers, charges that ordinary Ugandans cannot afford, and frustrated patients condemned to die of preventable conditions. Some exhibitors have described the facilities MoH is trumpeting about as death traps.

An exhibitor who claims to have been working at the Mbarara Regional Hospital in 2016 when President Museveni’s sister Violet Floelich Kajubiri was involved in accident has narrated what happened at the facility when the injured member of the first family was brought in. In December 2016, Dr Kajubiri, a member of the Education Service Commission and George Agaba, the former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Director of Physical Planning, were involved in an accident along the Isingiro-Mbarara Road. Agaba, whose tenure at KCCA involved some really violent enforcements, succumbed from injuries sustained during the accident.

This exhibitor who was on duty that day recalls how Kajubiri was rushed to the surgical emergency unit where there was no free bed. This health worker defied orders from soldiers and the Hospital Director whose view was that one of the patients in the surgical emergency unit be taken off the bed so that the president’s sister would be attended to.

According to a screenshot shared by chief exhibitor Ssentongo, this health worker made it clear to the soldiers and the regional referral hospital boss that s/he would exit the ward if they insisted on disrespecting the other patients to create space for the member of the first family.

Here’s what the exhibitor shared:

The MoH P.R.O should stop telling Lies. The first family knows about floor patients. Dr [Violet] Kajubiri, the president’s sister was a floor patient in 2016/2017 when I was a medical… You remember when she got an accident with a one Agaba (RIP) in the area of Mbarara. She was rushed to Mbarara RRH surgical emergency and a battalion had been called in from Makenke barracks. All beds were full and they ordered me to clear a bed for her. I refused and told the soldiers that if they touched any of my patients I would walk off the ward. The director of the hospital [amplified the soldiers’ orders but] I still resisted and told him it was against the principle of Justice.

Dr. Kajubiri was brought in. We put a mattress on the floor for her. I sent the soldiers to buy everything from bandage, cotton and POP to make a plaster for her broken limb. I splinted her limb in boxes as we did for other patients. The director came in at that time and created space for her in the ICU. She was airlifted to Kampala the next day.   

I went to Rwebikona and bought myself three beers and a piece of chicken, and celebrated the bravery of my grandmother that lives on through me. Let’s Fix the Healthcare Sector for once and for all.

You can read more about Museveni’s sister Kajubiri Here and There.

On the first day of the Uganda Health Exhibition, a former intern doctor shared a shocking tale of how many people died in the night shift at Kiruddu Hospital during the time senior doctors were on strike. The former intern doctor revealed how she had to decide who should die and who should live, and how she made mistakes that cost a patient life because s/he was overwhelmed. (See Details Here).

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