Uganda has once again lost a senior Doctor and mentor in the names of Prof. Gelasius Mukasa who died yesterday due to COVID-19.
Dr. Gelasius Mukasa 78 has been described by his former colleagues and students as a wonderful Paediatrician, whose commitment to saving the lives of new born babies was unrivaled.
Dr. Sabrina Kitaka, a pediatrician at the National Referral Hospital Mulago and former student of the late Prof. Mukasa wrote this about him.
“Dr. Gelacius Mukasa was a wonderful Pediatricians, with such a great love for the neonate so much that as undergraduate students we believed that his other name was ‘Neonate’. His passion for the new born was so exemplary and Honorable. He inspired many of us to love Paediatrics as a career choice, and for that we are truly grateful When I joined my Masters of Paediatrics, Dr. Mukasa was our Head of Department, a duty he held with so much poise and grace. He never once raised his voice at his subordinates,” Kitaka said of Dr. Mukasa.
Dr. Mukasa’s death is the latest blow to the medical fraternity in Uganda following the death last week of two senior doctors Charles Kiggundu and Fred Kigozi due to COVID-19.
And to Dr. Mukasa’s family and close friends, his passing is a double blow following the death only last week of his wife due to to COVID-19.
By the time of his death, Prof. Mukasa was the Chairperson of the National Newborn Steering Committee. Only recently co-authored a book titled: A decade of Change for New Born Survival – by the Healthy Newborn Network.
According to Uganda Medical Association, at least 16 doctors have so far died of COVID-19, a worrying statistic that has forced UMA leadership to ask government to reintroduce some lockdown measures to stem the rate at which the disease is spreading or sparingly deploy doctors to reduce their exposure to the disease.
Given the government’s reluctance to bring back lockdown measures to ease pressure on the health system, some medics like Dr. Kitaka are praying for the faster introduction of a Vaccine to counter the disease.
Kitaka said in a facebook post that: “We look forward to seeing the #COVID19 vaccine availed in a timely fashion to all our Seniors and the #frontlineworkers. Rest in everlasting peace Dr Gelasius Mukasa. Forever in our hearts.”