Apr 4, 2014

Ugandan MP's Suspicious Death may lead to President Musceveni's Circle

AUTHOR:Helen EpsteinSOURCE:NY Review of Books

In the April 4 2014 issue of the NY Review of Books Helen Epstein, a long-time visitor and public health advisor to Uganda investigates the 2012 death of a 24 YRO MP--Cerinah Nebanda. Nebanda was a stauch critic of the Musceveni regime particularly in the area of public health. Ms. Epstein highlights the deterioration of the health care system over the past 40 years. As she states, "In 2012, women were seven times more likely to die in childbirth at Mulago Hospital than when Idi Amin was president forty years earlier. Uganda loses one child to malaria every seven minutes, the highest death rate from that disease in the world, and in 2013, scores of people died of famine in this lush, fertile country for the first time in living memory, not because of food shortages, but because the government failed to provide the resources to send food where it was needed. " Ms. Epstein elabaorates on the massive amounts of financial assistance Uganda has received and squandered without improving healthcare systems. Unfortunately, as she notes, "Today, this system is a shambles. Bats, snakes, and other wildlife have taken up residence in once-functioning rural clinics. I have seen fecal material rain down from the crumbling ceilings of operating theaters. Power cuts and water shortages in hospitals kill thousands of patients each year, and emergency operations on pregnant women are sometimes carried out by the light of torches made from burning grass." Ms. Epstein continues her investigation of Nebanda's death in the context of Nebanda's direct excoriation of Musceveni's policy. (Recently, President Museveni signed the anti-gay law that would severely criminalize any homosexual behavior.) In view of these developments and continued pouring of funds into a country where so many of its residents are unable to access health services, foreign countries and multinational entities, e.g. United States, UK, Canada, Norway and the UN, World Bank, Global Fund, respectively should examine and re-evaluate their support until Uganda focuses on improving the lives of the people and removing corrupt officials. To read the entire article--"Murder in Uganda" click here:
 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/apr/03/murder-uganda/

Did you know?

The risk of a woman dying in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 22, as compared to 1 in 7300 in developed regions.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010


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