President Museveni has paid his last respects to the late Professor Alexander Mwa Odonga and saluted him for the tremendous contribution in upholding the medical profession in Uganda.
The President was last night speaking at the vigil of the late Professor Mwa Odonga at the deceased’s home in Naguru in Kampala where Mr. Museveni offered his condolences and laid a wreath on the casket. 96-year old Professor Odonga passed on last week at Mulago Hospital in Kampala due to progressive heart failure.
The first medical doctor in East and Central Africa to qualify as a specialist surgeon, Professor Mwa Odonga was former Dean of Makerere Medical School and Dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He was also renowned for being the first person to establish an English-Luo dictionary.
President Museveni told mourners at the vigil that he came to know Professor Mwa Odonga about 15 years ago when the deceased saved the life of a visiting foreign guest who had suffered intestinal obstruction while in Uganda for a conference.
“About 15 years ago, during a certain Heads of State Conference in Uganda, a foreign guest got an intestinal obstruction. There was worry that the guest would die in Uganda but it was Professor Odonga who saved the guest’s life at Mulago hospital. I was very proud of him because he not only upheld the medical profession but also the reputation of Uganda,” remarked the President.
The President further informed the mourners of how, despite the turbulent days of Idi Amin and the Professor was forced to go to Kenya, and still, he came back to Uganda and was able to train young doctors which has now resulted in a bigger supply of medical practitioners.
Mr. Museveni noted that such type of contribution was greatly appreciated and that it should be a challenge to the young people of Uganda to desire to emulate Professor Mwa Odonga’s successful lifestyle.
“I am very proud to associate with the memory of such people. Uganda is now self sufficient with the memories of such people like Professor Odonga,” he said.
The President equally saluted the widow of the deceased for having taken good care of her husband and to the children too for not having disappointed their father. He wished the relatives, children and grandchildren well and advised them to learn from the success story of their loved departed Professor.