Journalist seeks help to pay hospital bills

Wednesday September 30 2020
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James Kabengwa

By Damali Mukhaye

The family of a freelance journalist James Kabengwa, who is currently admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) at Mengo Hospital is appealing for assistance to settle medical bills worth Shs19 million.
Mr Kabengwa’s sister, Ms Racheal Nakamya, told Daily Monitor yesterday that her brother was yesterday undergoing a fifth operation and complained of the hefty bills at the hospital that charges Shs1m per day.

She said her brother’s problem started on September 10, when he went through a gastric bypass surgery, only to be taken back for the second surgery after family members realised that he had an infection. “I do not know what went wrong during the first surgery when he got an infection. We took him back to hospital, where we were told that his kidney had also been affected and they recommended a second surgery,” Ms Nakamya said.

“They conducted two more other surgeries after the second one but he was not responding to treatment. I don’t know why but the doctors are doing their best to save his life,” she added.
Ms Nakamya told Daily Monitor on Monday that the journalist was taken back for the fifth operation because he was not responding to treatment.
Ms Nakamya and another family member, who preferred anonymity, said their family is stuck and called upon friends and well-wishers to rescue the situation. His friends have since last week been fundraising to offset his medical bills.

She confirmed that as of yesterday, they owed Mengo hospital Shs19 million. The amount, however, excludes the Shs2m they have to spend every day on buying drugs from outside the hospital.
She said the hospital management instructed the family to buy medicine from outside because Mr Kabengwa’ s bill was accumulating very fast.
Mr Abubakar Lubowa, a colleague at Daily Monitor, said they have collected some money from journalists from the various media houses and Makerere University Mass Communication alumni but a lot still needs to be done as the bill keeps accumulating.

“Most of us have heard about Kabengwa. He has pulled off quite a number of good stories but as I speak now, he is in ICU at Mengo hospital. I am here to ask for help on behalf of our colleague,” Mr Lubowa said.
Assistance can be sent to Juliet Kigongo through her Mobile Money on  0703797959/0774700310  or Kabengwa’s phone number (0703641137).