Former speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah died of cancer and multiple organ failure according to a postmortem report presented before parliament by Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng.
Aceng was one of the four people who recently flew to Seattle, Washington where Oulannyah was indisposed before breathing his last on March 20.
“The report I have here is the death summary report for the late Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah L’Okori and they are four. One, the immediate cause of death was multiple organ failure – the heart failed, the lung failed, the liver failed and the kidney failed. The liver started failing while he was still here in Uganda as well as the lungs that had started collecting fluid. The heart started failing while in Seattle as well as the kidney. He had multiple bacterial infection, the viral infection that were discovered in Seattle,” said Aceng.
She added that Oulanyah’s liver started failing while still in Uganda, while his lungs had a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura. Meanwhile, the heart started failing while in Seattle as well as the kidney leading to multiple bacterial infections.
Dr Aceng also pointed out that the Oulanyah had a lymphatic system depletion for which he had undergone a surgical procedure to remove his spleen after he was brutalized by security personnel during a riot while at Makerere University in the early 90s.
This, she says was compounded by other contributory conditions such as gastrointestinal bleeding that later caused multi-drug resistance bacteria because of prolonged stay in the hospital.
“The Rt. Hon. speaker lost his spleen while he was in Makerere, he had a splenectomy following that riot. So he did not have a spleen which is also an organ which manufactures blood cells – white, red, and so on. He also had challenges with stem cells which had a poor immune response because of chemotherapy. He started having gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding into the abdomen because of lack of platelets. He had multi-drug resistance bacteria which is usually hospital-acquired when you stay in a hospital for too long,” Aceng added.
While paying tribute to the fallen Oulanyah, former Rebecca Kadaga also Kamuli District Woman MP under whom Oulanyah served as deputy speaker recalled that the deceased was irregular in office yet he could not openly discuss his medical complications.
Earlier, chief justice Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny-Dollo and Norbert Mao, the Democratic President who were close associates of Oulanyah alluded that the deceased suffered a spleen depletion due to violence meted against him by security at Makerere that linked to his demise.
The spleen, an organ that sits under the rib cage on the upper left side of the abdomen helps fight infection and filters unneeded material, such as old or damaged blood cells, from the blood.
It is usually removed when it’s ruptured, a situation caused by an abdominal injury. But, medical research shows that its removal often results in serious or life-threatening infections.