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Dozens of pilgrims rushed to Mulago with severe malaria, diarrhea

It was a busy day for the Red Cross at Namugongo. COURTESY PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police medical emergency team working together with the Uganda Red Cross at Namugongo Catholic Martyrs’ shrine, has referred dozens of pilgrims to Mulago national referral hospital with severe malaria, diarrhea, and hypertension.

Dr. Edward Piyota, who is attached to the police medical emergency team, says the pilgrims with malaria were convulsing because of delayed treatment.

According to Piyota, the medical tests conducted on the pilgrims show that they contracted malaria during their long trek to Namungongo and didn’t bother to get treatment, which weakened their bodies. “By the time they were brought to us, they were very sick and convulsing,” he said.

Dr. Piyota said that this prompted them to refer the pilgrims to Mulago National Referral hospital for better management.

He says that the pilgrims who presented with severe diarrhea, diabetes, and hypertension, were also badly off because of delayed treatment too. He said that some of them became too weak because of the long journey and insufficient meals.

The Red Cross Emergency team also referred three pilgrims to the hospital for better management. Osbert Sserugo, the Kampala central division Red Cross manager, said they had been briefed that the pilgrims were responding to treatment.

Over 20 other pilgrims including children were rushed to the Red Cross emergency team unconscious after collapsing. Some of the pilgrims collapsed in queues as they were waiting for clearance to access the shrines. Many fainted because of too much heat due to the high number of pilgrims.

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