Ugandan nurse lauded for making treacherous climb to patients

Critics hit back at minister who shared footage, saying she should not have to work in such dangerous conditions

Nurse Agnes Nambozo from Buluganya Health Centre III visits Masheluse village in Nataba parish, Uganda.
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A Ugandan healthcare workerhas been dubbed 'nurse of the year' by the country's health minister after making a dangerous ladder climb to vaccinate children in remote areas.

Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero shared a video of Agnes Nambozo making the journey with a box carrying supplies on her back.

“Absolutely speechless and touched to see this dedicated and committed enrolled Nurse,” the minister wrote on Twitter.

Users also praised the nurse's dedication, tagging Uganda's health heroes award body.

“As nurses, we are called to love and serve, well nurses are always underrated but we change communities widely Congratulations Agnes,” Kamara Daniel wrote.

But others were appalled at the lengths the nursing community has to go to in order to reach their patients.

Eve Zalwango called the treacherous ascent a “death row climb”.

“Nurse of the year is a cheap award. I am very sure she will be a happy person if she is awarded a safe way to reach her people when providing medical care,” she wrote in response to the minister's tweet.

One Twitter user asked Ms Aceng Ocero to take action to eliminate such risks.

“You make people play Ninja warrior then call them Nurse of the year. In the event that she falls and breaks her back, who takes care of her? Who takes care of her dependents? Does she get compensated? You need to make it easier for Agnes and Co.,” the tweet read.

Uganda says it is prioritising healthcare in its National Development Plan, addressing inadequate medical infrastructure to reduce mortality rates and provide equal access to healthcare services.

Strides have been made in reducing mortality rates. Unicef found that in 2019, the child mortality rate in Uganda was 45.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, down from 191 per 1,000 in 1970.

In some areas of the country, including the archipelago of Kalangala’s 84 islands, medical delivery drones are being tested to provide essential medicines for conditions like HIV.

Updated: February 27, 2023, 9:54 AM