It is with deep shock and sadness that I have learnt of the premature death of my medical school classmate and colleague, Dr. Michael Liri Amone Abongomera MBCHB, DPH, MBA, on Monday November 7, 2016.
The circumstances that led to his death are truly horrifying. According to Mr. Vensar, a former Assistant Commissioner at the Uganda National Meteorological Authority who lives in Entebbe, a Yamaha motorcycle that was operated by a Mr. Robert Amanyire hit Dr. Abongomera at 5:53 p.m. on October 27, 2016 as he walked on the Queen’s Road Zebra Crossing in Entebbe, Uganda. He was going to his clinic in Kitooro, Entebbe.
Mark, one of his sons, rushed him to a clinic where an X-Ray revealed that he had sustained a hip area fracture. He was taken by ambulance to Nsambya Hospital in Kampala, where he underwent surgery on October 28, 2016.
Dr. Abongomera was discharged home on November 2nd. However, he was taken back to Nsambya Hospital on November 5 because of some medical complications.
Upon discovering that he had anaemia (low haemoglobin level likely due to blood loss), his doctors requested Group O Positive blood (the most common type of blood) from the National Blood Bank at Nakasero, Kampala. “The blood didn’t arrive,” Mr. Vensar reports.
Mark and another relative went to Rubaga Hospital in search of blood. No luck there either. They eventually found blood at Mengo Hospital and delivered it to the patient’s bedside at 02:00 a.m. Mark found that his father’s condition had deteriorated and he was receiving oxygen treatment. Dr. Abongomera died at 5:00 a.m. November 7, 2016 as the nurses were hanging the blood to begin the transfusion.
Liri Abongomera joined Makerere Medical School in July 1972 and graduated on March 18, 1977. He worked in Kitale, Kenya for many years before returning to Uganda. His expertise was in public health and occupational health. He served as an Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Health and also served as Commissioner, Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Republic of Uganda.
More recently, he was the Chairperson of the Amuru District Service Commission for six years before resigning to go into private medical practice.
A requiem mass will be held at Bugonga Church, Entebbe on Wednesday November 9, 2016 starting at 10am. His body will then be taken to Gulu, Acholi, where another requiem will be held at Holy Rosary Church on Thursday November 10, 2016 starting at 10:00 a.m. He will then be taken to. Pabo Town Council Hall in Amuru District. He will be buried in Pabo at noon on Friday November 11, 2016.
Dr. Abongomera, who is survived by his wife Mary and their eight children, was only 65 years old. My heartfelt condolences to the family and to the people of Amuru. I have lost a brother.