Museveni advisor speaks out after Ugandan girl says was forcefully admitted to Saudi hospital without illness

The Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi has explained circumstances under which a female Uganda migrant worker was admitted to a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Joan Agnes Kyotalimye was taken to Saudi Arabia in September but according to  voice recording making rounds on social media, she says she was forcefully taken and admitted to a hospital after being suspected of having TB.

“I have since seen copies of documents to show that I will soon be operated upon for TB yet I am normal without any illness,” Kyotalimye said in the audio recording.

She has since asked for the Ugandan government’s intervention.

However, in a statement released  on Wednesday, Amb. Walusimbi noted that following the concern of the Ugandan migrant worker, his office contacted Kyotalimye’s  employers , medical officials at the Dammam Medical complex where she is admitted, the local recruitment company Alasker, the Embassy of Uganda in Saudi Arabia, and Ministry of Gender to ascertain facts regarding the matter.

“My team established that she travelled on September, 24,  2022 and on  September, 28, her bosses asked her to escort them to a medical facility, where different samples were drawn from her which we later learnt was for purposes of processing her health insurance and work permit. After a few days, the boss told her they were taking her to hospital again for more tests and then told to pack all her things and take them along. At the Dammam medical complex, she was told that she tested positive to Pulmonary TB, and was sent to an isolation room in the same facility,”Walusmbi said.

He explained that his team reached out to the Ugandan migrant worker’s employer who said that the initial tests done at First Health Cluster indicated she had  Pulmonary TB and that he had been advised to check her into a medical facility for isolation and better management of the disease.

“A medical personnel at Dammam Medical Complex where Joan is currently being treated said that they needed to run more tests to assess the extent of the infection, so they did an X-Ray and more tests at their Orthopedic Surgery 4 clinic. The doctor further informed my team that although Joan didn’t show any symptoms besides a mild cough, they could not risk letting her in spaces with other people because TB is highly contagious but they have since started administering the treatment.”

Walusimbi says his team crosschecked with Ugandan doctors on the incubation period of this disease and we learnt that it takes between 3-9 weeks for a person with high immunity, and about 2 weeks for a person with low immunity to test positive to the TB bacteria before they show any symptoms.

“The above accounts, confirm that our daughter is really is sick and needed urgent medical care. My team has since established, that the claims about a prospective surgery is a clear misunderstanding and misinterpretation on some of the wording on her medical forms, especially the part that indicates the Orthopedic surgery 4 clinic as the Saudi authorities have reiterated to us that there has never been any intention to operate on her.”

He noted that the Ugandan migrant worker’s distraught is a result of the ignorance of some people that the she contacted who he  said had  misguided her to record the audio that is circulating.

“I encourage our daughter Joan to cooperate with the medical officials by taking her medications because this is in the interest of her life and not against her. The Office the President Diaspora Affairs appreciates the medical personnel treating our beloved citizen and all the members of the diaspora that brought the issue to our attention. I call for a calm and positive environment as we try to help our sister.”

The development comes on the backdrop of cases of removing of organs from a number of migrant workers in the Middle East which has prompted Ugandans to be on alert.

 

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