Dr. Margaret Mungherera, 59, has died after losing her battle against cancer. She was receiving treatment in India, the Uganda Medical Association has announced.
Dr. Margaret Mungherera, who was a Senior consultant at psychiatrist at Mulago Hospital and a long-serving medical practitioner retired from civil service after 31 years on 30th June 2015.
Known for her candid and passionate advocacy for the welfare of medical workers, she was until 2014 the president of the World Medical Association.
As President of World Medical Association Dr. Mungherera facilitated policy interventions to promote good ethical practice in the world and champion human rights of patients and physicians.
Prior to that role, she was the president of the Uganda Medical Association and has been a board member of many health organisations. During the consultative meeting to review Uganda’s position on migration of health workers abroad, Mungherera pushed for better remuneration to attract and retain them.
At the time of her death, Dr Mungerera was the chair of the International association of medical regulatory Authorities a post she was elected to in October last year 2016.
She is also a founder member of Uganda Women Medical Doctors Association and was the first woman in Uganda to be elected president of the Uganda Medical Association in 1998 and again in 2010.
The president of the Uganda Medical Association Dr. Fred Bisso confirmed the news noting that she succumbed to cancer.
“She died in India she only flew out of the country on Thursday this week direct from hospitalization in Nsambya hospital where she had been admitted for a week. She had travelled to continue with her anti-cancer treatment” Dr Fred Biso said.
Dr Biso described her death as a great blow to the health fraternity. “It is a very big blow to us as a fraternity we hope the country learns from this huge loss to put our own health sector in such a state that it can take care of our own people.” Dr Bisso said.
Dr Bisso says the late had done a lot for the country and was still doing a lot and had put Uganda on the global map with the fraternity having a lot of hope in her.
Her death comes on the day Uganda Joins the rest of the world to mark World Cancer Day today under the theme; “We can, I can” (highlighting the need for multisectoral participation), Cases of cervical cancer have increased from 1,300 cases in 2014 to 1,500 in 2015 and 1,800 in 2016, according to the ministry of Health. Cervical cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma, Prostate and Breast cancer are the top 4 most common cancers in Uganda.
The most common risk factors for cancer include aging, tobacco, sun exposure, radiation exposure, chemicals and other substances, some viruses and bacteria, certain hormones, family history of cancer, alcohol, poordiet, lack of physical activity, or being overweight.