The death of Hon.Latif Ssebagals’s son is sad. The boy probably had a heart attack.A heart attack and cardiac arrest kill in minutes. In the case of Muwambo the English Premier League skipper, a skilled team of paramedics were able to save his life though quick resuscitation involving fairly rudimentary maneuvers (chest compressions, with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and defibrilation), after which he was rapidly transferred to a well equipped Intensive Care Unit. He was ‘dead’ for 78 minutes to be precise.
Resuscitation is not rocket science, and does not require someone to be flown abroad. Even lower cadre health staff can do it if trained! Fast forward to Malawi, where the President died of a heart attack, while his minders were fidgeting to take him to South Africa. Shame upon African Presidents. The amount of money used to treat one high ranking officer for a moderate illness abroad can set up a state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit in their countries. How can you fly someone with a heart attack to be treated abroad.
The same happens here – daughters of high ranking officers are flown to the UK to have a normal delivery, when there is no indication whatsoever that they will have an obstetric emergency; Mayombo was flown to Nairobi when he had acute pancreatitis and he died on arrival.
Emergencies need to be tended to immediately – 30 minutes or less is what you have got – by the time a plane lands after several hours of flying, a person will have lost their life – it is pretty stupid to fly a person with a heart attack to receive ’emergency resuscitation’ abroad, as if we do not have doctors or paramedics here!
I bet these officials can even fly their son who is convulsing due to a malaria attack to receive an anticonvulsant and intravenous Quinine from the UK – yet there is no malaria in the UK and a diagnosis of malaria may take longer in the UK than it takes to do it here.
This all means one thing:our health systems are rotten. There is a lot of wastage of life due to these bogus health systems, and leaders who are selfish. The irony is that while it is the peasants who suffer most our leaders are also not immune to the stupid health systems they’ve set up – as in the case of Bingu wa Mutharika – a man who one time worked for the World Bank.
What makes African leaders so myopic and selfish when they assume power? The funny thing is that ‘individualism’ (the highest form of capitalism nurtured by the likes of Margaret Thatcher) results in creation of an elitist middle class that has too much money they do not know what to use it for – and one of their indulgences is chronic over-nutrition, sedentariness, money related stress and obesity – all these are a good recipe for a heart attack! But can our health systems handle the increasing burden of Non-communicable diseases, when even Panadol is a luxury in Primary Health Care facilities?
A “peasant” in the UK will get a heart attack, and he or she will have a mandatory trained paramedic crew get to him within the govt targeted 8 min on board with a defribrillator. He will also have an ECG telemetry monitor that will relay the ECG to a cardiologist to the designated coronary care Unit by bluetooth technology.So if there is need for intervention its in minutes or an hour at least.Compare this to our system, and you will understand why Abbey Semuwemba, George Okello, and others in the UK don’t want to move their families permanently back in Uganda.
Compared to UK, In Uganda, the Uganda police is the only effective ambulance service because at least they try their best to rush injured persons to hospitals – albeit on the back of a pick-up, their necks twisted, bleeding, with no first aid measures. All those at the brink of death end up dying anyway. I wish our leaders would focus on building a system, rather than the reactionary measures.
In 2012, Uganda hosted the IPU. The theme was on maternal and perinatal mortality. Alas! You can all see what the bald and wig heads discussed. Went off topic.
In Uganda its to be better to be a teagirl than to be a medic or teacher. KCCA reviewed its salary structure. Mbu, the lowest paid person, a tea-girl, gets 1.2 Million per month. However, there was only one exception – Health workers and teachers will not be entitled to this salary structure – mbu ‘it will destabilize the economy’. How can we have such a mindset! Is the input of a health worker and a teacher that much less important than that of a tea-girl. Is the government serious about social services? I think we have parasites, prostitutes and irritants instead of leaders. How many macro-economic mishaps have been bred through mismanagement, corruption, poor planning etc, all the while telling the teachers and health workers to be patient.
In almost all government hospitals, every Medical Officer has had to do a caesarean section using the light from a Nokia telephone – because there was no fuel in the generator. Dr. Obote constructed these hospitals in the late 60s and early 70s. He might have been another bogus leader, but at least these structures are there. All are is a pathetic state of disrepair, while billions are spent on reactionary programs that have no results. None of these hospitals have a reliable water supply, yet at the time they were constructed, they each had a water supply unit – the water pumps have broken down, and nobody is interested in their repair. The only thing they keep blubbering is that the Basawo are stealing drugs – are drugs the only ingredient to a health system, stupid.There are no drugs to steal. No anti-Kochs and no ARVs. Have they been stolen by health workers? Its a gimmick to cover up the lack of delivery.
There’s an extortionist team from state house traversing the country arresting petty drug thieves. Everything leans towards political gain but the reality is different. The real drug thieves are white collared and the president knows them from way back,they prop his government. They arrest doctors if they think you support FDC or Besigye.
Most hospitals under Obote and Amin had a hospital tailor. All doctors needed was to buy a roll of cloth and he would make the theater linen. Now these tailors have been replaced by contractors, who deliver more bogus items at 10 times the cost. The same contractors who constructed bogus theaters in Health Centre IVs. If I had the means, I would slap the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi. But the last time a man went over his fence to slap him, the man ended up 6 feet under, and Nina Mbabazi defended this action on UAH using all her brain parts before she left the forum.
I onetime saw on TV Police rescue at an accident scene at the crested towers round about, a poor woman with a broken leg was lifted like a hip of ” kasasiro” meaning Police can not even afford a stretcher on their patrol cars!!!!! Ambulances making noise around town without a paramedic or even the lightest first aid equipment!! Then you hear leaders moving around telling the world that it is the west that is keeping Africans backward! Our leaders are worse than the colonialists! that the reason I despise the Pan African movement which destroys what is African ( kingdoms) and puts in place nothing apart from rhetoric,chest thumping, wolokoso.
Until Ugandans recognize and acknowledge that a good health system is the key to economic prosperity, then the rest is down the toilet. Pay the health workers what the rest of WHO does, good governance, respect the law of the land ,and cut down on those bureaucrats. Oh! Sorry I was just dreaming.
It seems to me all African leaders except a few are actually extra-terrestial,coz what they are doing shows as if one day they will run off with all their loot to another planet where they came from!and they call themselves pan Africans,SHAME ON THEM!