UPC's Akena calls for global collaboration to enhance Uganda's healthcare

UPC's Akena calls for global collaboration to enhance Uganda's healthcare
UPC president, Jimmy Akena

Jimmy Akena, the president of Uganda People's Congress (UPC), has emphasised the need to leverage global expertise and ensure their contribution to Uganda's healthcare system.

He made these remarks during a media address at the party headquarters in Kampala, where the party paid tribute to the late Cecilia Ogwal. Ogwal, who battled cancer, passed away at the age of 77 in India last week.

Akena expressed deep concerns about the state of Uganda's health facilities and called for urgent measures to strengthen the healthcare system.

"I have witnessed situations where people receive a diagnosis within the government system but struggle to obtain the necessary medications," he stated.

Akena lamented the inadequate capacity of Uganda's health facilities to cope with the current situation, leading many individuals with resources to seek medical treatment outside the government system.

"Our health facilities are struggling to meet the demands we face. As a result, many people with resources are opting for alternatives to the government system," he explained.

He emphasized the abundance of medical expertise available globally, including professionals skilled in performing complex surgeries.

Akena urged the creation of an enabling environment in Uganda to attract and retain these experts by providing the necessary resources and tools for their medical practice.

"We must equip them with the necessary tools to carry out their work. These doctors came prepared to help when they heard about the problem. They are experts in various fields. However, during difficult times, many individuals," he added.

Akena highlighted instances where people would visit government hospitals for diagnoses but struggle to obtain the required medications due to their unavailability.

He stressed the urgent need for a comprehensive health system that can effectively and promptly address ailments, regardless of location.

Akena acknowledged that certain complex cases may require specialized treatment at the national referral hospital.

"To effectively handle complex situations, we must establish a health system capable of addressing specific ailments anywhere and everywhere they occur," he emphasized.

However, he criticized the current state of the system, noting that prominent leaders often seek treatment abroad when faced with critical health conditions.

Akena emphasized the importance of implementing such interventions early to maximize their effectiveness.

He cited the cases of the late Jacob Oulanyah, former Speaker of Parliament, and the late Cecilia Ogwal, both of whom battled cancer, underscoring the significance of early detection and treatment.

Akena stressed the urgency of strengthening Uganda's healthcare systems, sharing a personal experience with his father's illness in South Africa.

Following his father's passing, he encountered over 100 Ugandan medical experts who had traveled to South Africa to offer their assistance.

Akena highlighted the willingness of these doctors to help when they learned about the medical issues faced by Uganda.

Akena urged individuals to overcome the challenges by seeking medical assistance within Uganda, rather than resorting to overseas treatment when faced with difficulties.

It is worth noting that many prominent individuals seek medical attention abroad due to the perceived shortcomings of the country's health facilities.

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