Komuhangi spotted a business opportunity in the face of adversity

Saturday January 25 2020


By Joan Salmon

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, my world seemed to cave in on me. But with the zeal to live, I started on medication immediately.” That was Judith Sheenah Komuhangi’s attitude after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2016.
Like they say, tragedies in life can turn out to be great life lessons and many times they propel people to be creative and the best version of themselves.
Komuhangi’s treatment plan required that she goes for radiotherapy but the only radiotherapy machine in the country at that time, which was housed at Mulago Hospital, was faulty.
“In search of an alternative, I opted to go for treatment in India. I also needed to do a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, an imaging test that uses a radioactive drug (tracer) to show how one’s tissues and organs are functioning. That was based on advice that it was the best test we could do to evaluate if the chemotherapy had killed all the cancer cells in the body. Unfortunately at that time the nearest and most affordable place I could get it was in India,” she says.
While on treatment in India, Komuhangi appreciated the way the medical tourism company that was handling them conducted its duties. She says: “It was so smooth that we felt at home and very relaxed, something that is necessary for quick healing.”
Making lemonade out of her rather bitter lemons, Komuhangi picked interest in the medical tourism business and sought a partnership with the Indian company. When an opportunity presents itself, it must be pursued, lest another person takes advantage of it. Knowing this, Komuhangi, kept her eyes on the prize. “I kept in touch with this company after returning to Uganda. As luck would have it, we did paper work and in July 2017, Magnus Medi was launched in Uganda with me on the steering wheel as the country representative.”

“At the start, I secured Shs6m from my husband and supplemented it with my savings of Shs1.2m. I used this money to set up an office, pay rent, buying furniture, and buying computers.”

About Magnus Medi
Magnus Medi is a medical tourism company that, among other things, creates awareness about non-communicable diseases and connects people who want to access medical facilities within Uganda. Getting a specialist might not be that easy and having contacts of different specialists makes the burden lighter.
“Sometimes the fee charged on patients differs depending on where you will find them. We also do the same for those that need to go for treatment abroad. In addition, the company provides people with different quotations, guides patients on the best options in regard to the illnesses they have, and ensures proper care while abroad,” Komuhangi explains.
To market this rather new business idea in Uganda, Komuhangi mainly does her marketing online, on social media platforms such as Facebook, and twitter. “I also get clients through referrals from previous clients who appreciate my services.”

She says her biggest achievement is the contentment she gets when someone’s health is restored. “There is total joy in giving people hope to live again.”

“People expect us to assist them financially, yet we do not have the funds to,” she says. Komuhangi says there is a limited supply of funds which makes it hard for her to undertake some activities. “For example, we should be creating awareness on non-communicable diseases and proper nutrition. Although we are spreading the gospel on social media, our target group are not on social media.”

Future plans
“We want to create more awareness about our services and possibly have more offices across the country. Komuhangi advises women to do something they are passionate about. “It should be something that you are energised to do even when there is no remuneration because the dry spells are there but you need to keep going.”