The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) has reached its capacity for accommodating private patients, as confirmed by Dr. Jackson Orem, the executive director. Orem noted that the institute faces a challenge due to the current trend where many patients prefer private treatment over the general ward.
This issue was brought to light during the requiem mass held for Alice Nakiganda (58), the Zonal Agriculture Development Officer for the Central Region. The mass took place at St. Paul Catholic Parish in Mukono municipality.
Rachael Ssewanonda, Nakiganda’s caretaker, revealed that they had been admitted to the Cancer Institute’s ward at Mulago after a routine check-up. Despite expressing their preference and willingness to pay for a private ward, Nakiganda was assigned a bed in the general ward. Medical tests, including a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), revealed tumors in her liver, lungs, and spinal cord, resulting in multiple organ failure.
Efforts to secure a spot in the private wing were unsuccessful, as administrators informed them that the ward had been fully occupied for some time. Disappointed with the Institute’s response, Nakiganda sought a referral to another private hospital, but her doctor declined, citing the need for continued monitoring.
Dr. Orem acknowledged that the private wing is oversubscribed and highlighted the growing preference for private treatment over the general wing.
The requiem mass for Nakiganda was led by Fr. Paul Ssebitoogo, the parish priest of St. Paul Catholic Parish. The ceremony was attended by religious leaders, NAADS secretariat staff, including the executive director, Dr. Samuel Mugasi, and Mukono district staff.
Mugasi extended his condolences to Nakiganda’s children, encouraging them to find strength in knowing she’s in a better place. Nakiganda’s children include Gloria Nanyanzi, Raymond Mukwaya, and her son Jonathan Yawe, currently in Senior Three.
Nakiganda’s career included serving as the Mukono district NAADS Coordinator from 2003 to 2011, followed by her roles as the Zonal NAADS Coordinator for Central Region (2012-2014) and Zonal Agriculture Development Officer for Central Region (2015-2020).
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