At least 67 people have been admitted to various referral hospitals around the city after fainting at Namugongo during the martyrs’ day celebrations.
According to the Uganda Red Cross Society spokesperson, Irene Nakasiita, a total of 67 believers have collapsed and were rushed to hospitals by their emergency response teams at Namugongo.
“Since morning, we have registered 67 cases referred to different medical facilities like Kiruddu, Mulago and Naguru hospitals,” Nakasiita told the Nile Post.
Over 10,000 believers are said to have thronged Namugongo and all leads leading to the Catholic and Protestant Martyrs shrines are only accessible by foot.
Believers are always advised to move with water but also eat well before going to Namugongo for the martyrs’ day celebrations whereas those with illnesses like high blood pressure have been warned to stay away from the place.
Nakasiita says the Uganda Red Cross emergency response team will remain on ground to help any believers who might get problems due to congestion at Namugongo.
Between January 1885 and 1887, a group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts were executed on orders of then Buganda king, Mwanga, the second, for disobeying him and converted to Christianity.
These were later declared Ugandan martyrs and are celebrated by pilgrims from various parts of the world who throng Namugongo every June 3 to remember their lives.
The Uganda Episcopal Conference, which is the assembly of catholic bishops in Uganda revealed recently that apart from Ugandans, pilgrims were expected from the United States, Nigeria, Mexico, Malawi, Italy, Zambia, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Ireland and United Kingdom.
Other pilgrims were expected to come from include Vatican, Germany Canada, Kenya, and Tanzania among other countries.