Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 30 pilgrims with life-threatening conditions have been swiftly transported to various hospitals from the Catholic martyr’s shrines. Prize Tayebwa, the manager of the Kampala West Red Cross Branch, reported that the affected pilgrims, predominantly women, were suffering from high blood pressure, anemia, and other chronic ailments.
Tayebwa emphasized the gravity of the patients’ conditions, stating that they were immediately taken to hospitals such as Naguru, Mulago, and Norvik. He further explained that the Red Cross has responded to over 300 medical emergencies in total. While many of these cases involved swollen limbs due to extensive walking, others required specialized care, prompting urgent transfers to hospitals.
To address the physical discomfort of the pilgrims, foot massages are being provided, particularly for those with swollen limbs. Additionally, glucose is being administered to ensure hydration and replenish depleted body sugars caused by the long journeys.
Furthermore, some individuals sustained physical injuries while attempting to enter the Catholic shrines, pushing themselves amidst the crowds. The queues to the shrines have extended as far as Kyaliwajjala and the junction to Butto-Bweyogerere road.
Aside from the medical emergencies, the Red Cross team has also encountered 20 cases involving children and adults who have been separated from their relatives. Of the recorded cases, three involve adults and 17 pertain to children. To date, four children have been successfully reunited with their parents through phone calls, as they were able to provide contact information for their family members.
Organizers of this year’s Martyrs’ Day celebrations have observed a significant increase in attendance, attributing it to the period of being free from the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.