Uganda: 15 Specialists On Standby to Treat MPs Bobi Wine, Zaake

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has constituted a team of highly trained medical personnel to support the treatment of Arua suspects allegedly tortured while under custody.

The Association says that 15 of the experts are on standby to voluntarily provide treatment to all victims of torture arising out of the infamous arrests. More than 35 people were arrested on Monday and Tuesday last week on allegations of stoning President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade.

Among those arrested are Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi and Mityana municipality MP Francis Zaake are said to be in very bad shape after they were allegedly tortured.

There are reports that other civilians who were arrested alongside the MPs were also tortured with one female suspect tortured to the extent that she is passing out blood from her privates. Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of Uganda Medical Association says the assembled experts were chosen based on descriptions on the condition of the victims.

The specialists include nephrologists, specifically to treat diseases that affect the kidneys and their ability to function, gastroenterologists for any condition that could have affected the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.

Also on standby are cardiologists, for anything that could have affected the heart and toxicologists, trauma surgeons who will look at severe injuries, neurosurgeons to look at brain problems and anesthesiologists, to deal with critical care.

Dr Obuku was speaking at a press conference held in Mulago yesterday. The press conference was organized in response to demands for specialized treatment for two of the legislators that suffered immense bodily harm while under custody.

"We are happy with the medical care Hon Zaake is receiving outside the walls of the military freely and out of his own choice. We're saying the same should be accorded to Hon Kyagulanyi so that he can receive the best highly specialised medical care because it appears he's not in the best state.

Physically and mentally he is actually severely injured as described by his wife and his lawyers and needs specialised medical care. As Uganda Medical Association we have constituted a team of experts to handle Hon Kyagulanyi in particular but also other victims who are not known." said Obuku.

Kyagulanyi is currently held at Makindye military barracks, where he is reported to be in extreme pain and covered in bruises, on the head, face and all over the body. Reports indicate that he suffered internal bleeding and has a damaged kidney.

The other legislator Francis Zaake is admitted in Lubaga hospital, where he has been in a critical condition over the last three days. Their colleagues, Gerald Karuhanga, Paul Mwiru, MP-elect Kassiano Wadri, former Makindye East MP Micheal Mabikke and over 30 others are detained in Gulu.

Dr Obuku says they have written to President Museveni to ensure that Kyagulanyi can be treated outside the military walls where it is uncertain if those specialised experts exist. He added that they have alerted their colleagues in the diaspora in the event that medical evacuation for further care is needed.

He says doctors should ensure they treat torture suspects as per their ethics, adding that they should also document issues of torture. The association says it is very unfortunate that torture victims have been denied access to specialized medical care.

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