State House security operatives have arrested the Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital, Dr. Baterana Byarugaba. The arrest party were led by the State House Health Monitoring Director, Dr Warren Namara. They picked up Dr. Byarugaba on Tuesday afternoon to help them with investigations of massive corruption at the country’s top medical referral facility.
Mulago recently underwent massive renovation in a project worth over a hundred of million dollars, but has remained hopelessly inadequate in handling serious cases.
Mulago’s reputation hit its lowest point last year when doctors in Soroti referred a case of conjoined twins one of who was dead, but the national referral hospital said they lacked the capacity to seperate them and save the living one. They advised the twins’ grandfather who had brought them to go back to Teso and wait for the second child to die so they can be buried at the same time.
But when the Soroti doctors heard of Mulago’s judgement, they called the grandfather back with the twins and in an operation that did all of Uganda proud, they successfully separated the twins and the survivor is now over a year old, and healthy.
More recently, the speaker of parliament had to be flown to Seattle on the West Coast of the United States for treatment at a cost of half a million dollars for the flight alone. Many observers attribute Mulago’s inability to handle serious cases on managerial incompetence and corruption despite the availability of technical expertise.
Dr Warren Namara, is a top medical consultant himself, who rose to fame during his stellar performance as head of Uganda’s Aids Control Programme in the nineties. He was however taken up by international bodies and returned to Uganda recently. Will he sustain the momentum to reshape Uganda’s health sector?
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