Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | American woman Renee Bach, who was accused of treating children in eastern Uganda without medical training has closed her company, Serving His Children International Limited. She has also negotiated an out of court settlement with the two mothers that took her to court for the deaths of their children.
Zubeda Gimbo and Annet Kakai; the two mothers whose children died at the Bach-ran facility in Jinja, will each receive 35 million Shillings. They signed the settlement documents on Tuesday in court in Jinja.
Bach’s case played out in the media around the world with estimates putting the number of children who died at her facility at 105. However, the Women’s Pro Bono Initiative, an NGO, helped two mothers launch a case against the company and its founder Bach.
Early this year as the court was to start hearing the case, she opted for an out of court settlement which culminated into a payment on Tuesday. Her company Serving His Children International Limited will no longer operate in Uganda, according to the company statement.
In a statement signed by Bach herself, she says the board of directors examined the feasibility of continued operations of the company based on available fund starting January 2020. She writes that “without means to fund the operating expenses the company can no longer continue to operate.”
She added that “Whereas the primary source of funding for the operations of the company has been closed in the US and will no longer be sending operational funds, it is hereby resolved by the board of directors on July 18, 2020, that the company Serving His Grace Children International Ltd will be dissolved.”
Primah Kwagala, the executive director of the Women’s Pro Bono initiative, said it’s been a tough journey but was glad it was ending amicably.
There is a chance that after the payment of the first claimants, more people may come out to sue for compensation. Bach came into Uganda as a missionary and said she then started a facility to help children in Uganda suffering from acute malnutrition.
While the facility was not supposed to act as a hospital, it later turned into a treatment area with tens of children brought there for treatment. As some started dying, questions were raised over the qualifications of those who treated them, including Bach, according to court documents.
The mothers say that they were convinced that Renee was a medical doctor after seeing her wearing a white coat, a stethoscope and often administered medications to children. It is alleged that the missionary caused death to over 100 children under her care through performing medical procedures and providing treatments, well knowing that she did not have any medical qualification for the task.
Bach left Uganda Last year, after the contention. But while in the US, she gave interviews to journalists denying the allegations in Uganda. Her Lawyer David Gibbs stated that Bach worked alongside Ugandan medical professionals and often assisted nurses and other health professionals to serve in crises.