By Our Reporter
The late Speaker Jacob L’okori Oulanyah died after multiple organ failure following long illness which was first detected in 2019 , Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has told the national parliament.
According to a medical report which was read by Minister Aceng , Speaker Oulanyah suffered heart , lungs, kidney and liver failure before he breathed his last in a hospital in Seattle USA late last month . Aceng was addressing the nation during a special sitting of parliament in honour of Oulanyah -who was elected the Speaker of the 11th Parliament just nine months ago.
He has since been replaced by new Speaker Anita Annet Among and her Deputy Thomas Tayebwa . Dr. Aceng told parliament that Oulanyah’s liver started failing while he was still admitted at Mulago hospital in Uganda and was followed by complications in his lungs which were filling up with fluids. He experienced kidney and heart failure while in Seattle where he was pronounced dead .
Dr. Aceng explained further that Oulanyah had bacterial and viral infections . The treatment for viral infections also suppressed his bone marrow. The Minister said Oulanyah has been ill since 2019 when the late Speaker had a big swelling removed from his neck. “ It was a relatively big swelling and took Oulanyah to seek medical attention in Germany. The swelling was removed, analyzed and he was told it was cancer. Oulanyah was started on treatment which he finished in Uganda at the Cancer Institute,” Dr. Aceng stated .
Due to his suppressed bone marrow the body could not produce both the white and red cells .Oulanyah who largely kept his ill health secret sought treatment in Germany and Dubai . This could explain his frequent travels abroad between 2019 and 2021, former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told parliament .
Kadaga praised the late Oulanyah for his commitment to serve his country and working for the common man. She urged parliament to process the copy right law which the late Oulanyah had initiated .
Several parliaments hailed the fallen Ugandan leader for being a nationalist who worked very hard to unite the country , mobilized support for his NRM party that led to its strong showing in the last general elections in the Acholi, Lango and West Nile sub regions; was a sports lover who had promised to increase the sports budget , an orator , a good debater and legislator who carried the Ugandan flag high wherever he went- both home and abroad.
The MPs have therefore agreed to contribute 1M each to the Oulanyah Education Trust Fund to cater for the education needs of his children . He is survived with eight children .
Speaker Anita with out giving details said parliament has “foregone many things” to save Oulanyah’s life . She thanked the MPs and government led by President Yoweri Museveni for their unrelenting support to save Oulanyah’s life . Several government officials including Vice President Jessca Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja paid their tribute . The Cabinent Ministers who paid tribute to Ladit Oulanyah included among others the Ministers of ICT Dr. Chris Baryomunsi , Lands Judith Nabakooba, Denis Obua State Minister for Sports and Jacob Oboth Oboth for Defence.
There were will be a national state funeral tomorrow presided over by President Yoweri Museveni at Kololo Independence grounds . Oulanyah will be buried on Friday in Omoro . The day has been declared a public holiday .
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