Hospital opposes visit by activists
Posted Tuesday, February 12 2013 at 02:00
No, thanks. A group calling itself health activists writes to the Masaka Regional Referral Hospital management, notifying them of their intention to donate items to the patients on February 18 and then carry out a peaceful demonstration.
Masaka Regional Referral Hospital authorities have rejected a visit by activists seeking to donate items to patients.
Recently, the group of health activists led by Mr Muhammad Ssegirinya, the former contestant for Kawempe North MP seat, wrote to the hospital management, notifying them of their intention to donate items such as soap, sanitary towels, and sugar to the patients on February 18, and then hold a peaceful demonstration.
“I expect to be joined by other patriots and activists like Dr Kizza Besigye, Ms Ingrid Turinawe, among others,” part of the letter reads.
However, in a February 5 letter, the hospital director, Dr Florence Tugumisirize, told Mr Ssegirinya, that the activists were not welcome.
“The hospital would like to thank you for the gesture. However, the hospital regrets to inform you that it cannot take on your offer,” Dr Tugumisirize said in her letter to the activists.
It was copied to the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Asumani Lukwago, and Masaka District Police Commander Eddie Serunjoji, among other security officials.
In a separate interview with the Daily Monitor, Dr Tugumisirize also said she could not allow anybody to carry out a demonstration as it could turn violent and disruptive.
“But this is a hospital and we cannot risk anything, especially the peace of the patients,” she said.
She also refuted allegations by the activists that the hospital was facing a shortage of services and manpower, especially in the maternity ward.
She said a team of health workers was highly dedicated to their work as evidenced by the growing number of patients seeking treatment there.
This is not the first time Mr Ssegirinya and other activists have been stopped from donating food to patients.
In December last year, Kawempe mayor Mubarak Munyagwa, Mr Ssegirinya and a few of their supporters were arrested by the police near Wandegeya in Kampala with bread and pineapples claiming to be taking them to patients at Mulago hospital.
They were later charged with inciting violence.