News & Up­dates:

The Minister for Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has told Parliament that the immediate cause of death of the former Parliament Speaker, Jacob L’Okori Oulanyah, was multiple organ failure triggered by lymphoma cancer.

“The heart, lungs, liver and kidney all failed. The liver started failing while he was in Uganda and the lungs had started collecting fluids,” Aceng said.

While revealing what she said were details of the autopsy yesterday, Dr. Aceng told Parliament that Oulanyah suffered multiple organ failures due to progressive recurrent diffuse large B cell non-Hopkin Lymphoma, a type of cancer of the lymphatic system

The Minister made this revelation while presenting a report on Oulanyah’s health at the special sitting of the House to honour the former speaker on Tuesday, 05 April 2022.

Aceng said that Oulanyah was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

“He discovered a swelling on the neck, he took it upon himself to seek medical attention in Germany, where the swelling was removed and analyzed and he was told that it was cancer, she said adding that, ’he was started on treatment which he finished at the Uganda Cancer Institute,” She said.

She added that he subsequently visited other hospitals over the same but due to the challenges during the lockdown and during elections; he was not able to be treated in the hospital.

“On 23 January 2022, he was admitted to Mulago for two weeks and during that time, he was being prepared to travel to get gene therapy treatment known as the CAR T- Cell which did not require more chemotherapy and had already suppressed the bone marrow,” she said.

Aceng added that tests were carried out, biopsy tissues were recalled for further analysis and the bone marrow was analyzed.

The Minister in her report added that Oulanyah had also developed multiple bacterial and viral infections.

“The treatment of the viral infections continued to suppress the bone marrow, which lead to its total suppression,” she said.

There were also contributory conditions which included lymphatic system depletion.

Aceng also revealed that while in Makerere, Oulanyah lost his spleen following a student strike there. She said that they manufactures both red and white blood cells.

“He started having gastrointestinal bleeding into the abdomen because of lack of platelets, he couldn’t stop the bleeding. He had multi-drug resistant bacteria such as Klebsiella, which is usually hospital-acquired when you stay in hospital for too long, the virus was cytomegalovirus, which affected him,” she said.

Dr. Aceng said while at the hospital in Seattle, the chief doctor briefed them for two hours about the background findings and deterioration of Oulanyah’s health.

“Let no one confuse you. Our brother died of natural causes. He himself had the opportunity to talk with doctors, who came and told him that ‘there is nothing more we can do’”, she added.