NATIONAL — The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, has explained the various ailments that led to the demise of former speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah.
Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, 05 April 2022, Dr Aceng said the immediate causes of Oulanyah’s were multiple organ failure (the heart failed, the kidneys failed, the lungs failed, the liver failed).
“He had multiple bacteria infections and viral infections which were discovered in Seattle,” she said.
Dr Aceng said there were other contributory conditions which include, Lymphatic system depletion because he had lost his spleen and Gastrointestinal bleeding because of lack of platelets.
“When the bone marrow was suppressed, it could no longer produce platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells,” she explained.
According to the minister, the ill health of the later speaker started in 2019.
“In 2019, he discovered a swelling in the neck. It was relatively a big swelling He took it upon himself to seek medical attention in Germany. The swelling was removed and analyzed and he was told it was a cancer. He was started on treatment which he finished at Uganda Cancer Institute,” she said
He subsequently visited several other hospitals. But he had challenges during the lockdown and elections as he was not able to be in hospital, she added.
Below is the minister’s full account:
In 2019, we discovered a swelling in his neck. It was a relatively big swelling and he took it up himself to seek medical attention in Germany.
The swelling was removed and analysed and he was told it was a cancer.
He was started on a treatment which he finished at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
He subsequently visited several other hospitals because of the same, but we also had challenges during the (Covid19) lockdown and during the elections when he was not able to be in hospital.
On 23rd January we admitted him at Mulago where he was to stay for two weeks, and during that time we were preparing him to travel and also getting in touch with several hospitals that could provide therapy treatment known as the CAR T-cell, which did not require more chemotherapy because he had had multiple chemotherapy that had suppressed the bone marrow.
One of the reasons that visitors were prohibited (from the hospital) is because his marrow was not functioning, he needed to be protected from infections.
Allow me to appreciate the team of doctors in Mulago who took care of him, 15 of them, led by Dr Jackson Orem, the UCI Executive Director who attended to him from the time they discovered the lump, until he went to Seattle.
On February 3rd, five people left for Seattle together with the Holy Spit. These included Speaker, Patricia Lakidi as an attendant, Christine Awol, his security guard Ocheng and Dr Jackson Orem who was to ensure that the hospital treats him, immediately stabilises him and takes care of him.
While in the hospital several investigations were initiated, the biopsy tissues from the various hospitals were recalled for further analysis, bone marrow biopsies were retaken for analysis and details of all these were provided.
I now have the death summary report for the late Rt. Hon Jacob Oulanyah.
The immediate cause of death is; Multiple organ failure.
The heart failed, the lungs failed, the liver failed and the kidney failed.
The liver started failing while he was still here in Uganda, as well as the lungs that had started collecting fluid.
The heart started failing while he was in Seattle as well as the kidney.
We had multiple bacterial infections discovered here and viral infections discovered in Seattle and unfortunately, the treatment for the viral infection further suppressed the bone marrow.
These were the consequences of total bone marrow suppression; in other words, the marrow could no longer produce red bloods cell, white blood cells or platelets, and he lived on blood and platelets every day.
All this resulted from Progressive Recurrent Defused Large B Cell Lymphoma; that is the cancer, and of course the chemo he received for quite a while
There were also contributory conditions and they included the following:
He had a lymphatic system depletion
The Rt. Hon speaker lost his spleen while he was in Makerere and I am sure many of you are aware.
It was the spleen not the pancreas. You cannot live without a pancreas.
He had a splenectomy following that riot; which is an organ which manufactures blood red and so on.
He also had challenges with stem cell which had a poor immune response because of chemotherapy.
He started having gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding onto the abdomen because of lack of platelets, he could not stop the bleeding.
He had multi drug resistant bacteria which is usually hospital acquired when you stay in the hospital for too long.
Once again my condolences. This is the brief report, a longer story will be provided in Kololo.