What you need to know:
- Mr Joel Ndugwa, a son to the deceased said his father succumbed to stroke at Mulago National Referral Hospital after he was transferred from Victoria Hospital.
- The UMA President Dr Oledo, said that as UMA they will put up an annual “Prof Ndugwa memorial award geared towards ethical code of conduct and professionalism.”
The government has described the passing of senior paediatrician and sickle cell specialist, Professor Christopher Magala Ndugwa, as a big loss to the medical fraternity and to the country at large.
Speaking at the requiem mass at St Paul Cathedral, Namirembe on Tuesday afternoon, the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said Prof Ndugwa was one of the most senior, qualified and experienced professors.
“It is with deep sorrow that we take the news of the death of Professor Christopher Magala Ndugwa who has been a mentor and an icon to many in the medical fraternity and above all a senior citizen well respected in this country,” she said.
“We feel he has gone a bit too early because he was a moving library for us not only in his medical field but all aspects of life. We thank God for the invaluable contributing he made to our country and the entire world and for the many people he trained, and I am one of them because I am a paediatrician,” the health minister added.
Family, friends, mentees, students and former colleagues described the fallen paediatrician as one who went out beyond his professional calling as a medic to provide affordable and selfless medical care to patients, be it children or those who suffered from sickle cells and polio, areas in which he did research too.
Prof Ndugwa, 82, who died last Friday [January 21, 2022], will be laid to rest today (Wednesday).
Mr Joel Ndugwa, a son to the deceased said his father succumbed to stroke at Mulago National Referral Hospital after he was transferred from Victoria Hospital.
“He was a man with a big heart. He had a love for people. He cared not just for sick people but everyone,” he said. Prof Ndugwa was also a Board Member of the Uganda Sickle Cell Rescue Foundation.
Uganda Medical Association (UMA) said in a statement that Prof Ndugwa was among the first Ugandans who defied the odds in the 1960s and studied sciences.
“He was a very calm and compassionate clinician, a teacher, mentor and exemplary leader. With colleagues, he led, initiated and developed new and better management protocols of sickle cell disease at a time when there was little advancement in diagnostics,” the statement reads in part.
Dr Samuel Oledo, the UMA President, in an interview with this newspaper, described Prof Ndugwa as a man who took patient care to another level.
“His death is a great loss to the country. He was hospitalized for over three weeks but God allowed Professor to rest. He instilled professionalism and ethical conduct among all of us the young doctors of our generation,” Dr Oledo said.
Christened the grandfather of paediatrics, Professor Ndugwa served as Head of Department of Paediatrics and Child health at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.
He was honoured by the Uganda Paediatrics Association as one of the greatest Paediatricians in our country.
“We mourn Prof Christopher Ndugwa. He served as head of department, teacher, mentor, supervisor and friend for over 40 years. We have lost the dictionary of paediatrics and child health,” Prof Dr Ezekiel Mupere, the head of paediatrics and child health department at Makerere University medical school, said in a tweet.
The UMA President Dr Oledo, said that as UMA they will put up an annual “Prof Ndugwa memorial award geared towards ethical code of conduct and professionalism.”
He said they will also hold a “two-year symposium, a memorial lecture in memory of Prof Ndugwa and that will be engineered towards new development in medical practice and sickle cell disease management and other researchers annually.”