Minister Moriku in Nairobi, not dead-Health ministry

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The Ministry of Health has dispelled rumours that have been circulating claiming that the Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Joyce Moriku Kaducu, is dead.

“There is malicious rumour circulating about Hon. Dr Joyce Moriku’s health,” the minister noted in a short statement.

It added: “We would like to inform you that the Hon Minister is still receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital, and is recovering well. Please ignore the rumour and treat it as such.”

The Minister of State for Health, Sarah Opendi, said government airlifted  Moriku to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi Kenya for specialised care.

While appearing before the Health Committee on Wednesday, Opendi was tasked by MPs to explain the condition of the Minister and why government had not taken the minister abroad for treatment.

Joyce Moriku was first admitted in critical condition at International Hospital Kampala (IHK).

Dr. Joyce Moriku was diagnosed with food poisoning and had been admitted to Mulago Hospital but later discharged.

A few days later, she developed chest complications and had difficulty breathing; she was admitted to International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where she is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

Opendi was further tasked to respond to allegations in the media that government was planning on hiring Cuban doctors to fill the manpower gap created during the doctor’s strike.

In her response, she said the idea was mooted when doctors were on strike but that since the doctors have returned to work, the move was suspended.

In the same committee meeting, the Minister presented the Mental Health Bill, 2014.

She said that the current Mental Act of 1964 is outdated and does not take into account the discovery of medicines and other interventions.

“The objective of this Bill is to provide for care and treatment for persons with mental illness at the primary health centres; to provide for the admission, treatment and for the discharge from health units and mental health units of persons with mental illness,” she said.

The Minister also said that the Bill would establish the Uganda Mental Health Advisory Board, which would be tasked with monitoring and implementing the Act.

The Board would be under supervision of the Minister and have a tenure of three years.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Michael Bukenya, said they would expedite processing of the Bill since it was long overdue.

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