Two Intern Doctors Drown in Lake Victoria


Two intern doctors Dr. Ahmed Abdullah and Dr. Emma Kidambire attached to Kitovu Hospital on Wednesday evening drowned while swimming at the Nabugabo Sand Beach
Dr. Kidambire was the head of interns at Kitovu hospital in Masaka and a student of Mbarara University pursuing his bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery.
Dr. Kidambire’s brother Vincent Kidambire confirmed his death. “I’m at loss of words. The only Doctor in the family has left us just a few months after our grannie died,” he said.
By Thursday morning, only Dr. Kidambire’s body had been recovered.
A close friend Patrick Wetaka described Wednesday as one of the saddest days of his life. I lost a friend and a brother.
He also described Dr. Abdallah and Dr. Kidambire’s last days.
“At 8:00 pm, I saw a notification from my old boys’ WhatsApp group implying that we had lost someone. Maybe a family member. I had heard so much sad news close to me, so I decided to open the group chat later. I wanted to be ready. Before I could open the group chat, at 11 pm, I saw Ahmed’s picture on the status of one of the guys in the group. Ahmed looked very much like another Somali boy in Form 1 back in school, I actually thought of that kid first. But it’s not possible he had graduated (he was in his gown). My heart skipped a beat!,” he said.
Wetaka said he went straight to the group chat and it was true. Dr. Abdallah was gone and the cause of death was drowning.
“The finding of his body hadn’t been announced yet. I went numb and speechless for a while. I didn’t even type a word, just kept scrolling until there was nothing left to read. Then I wrote sentence after sentence. Memories, feelings, thoughts.. everything!. Ahmed had posted a comment on a soccer group we belonged to at 7.20 am. I was the only one to have replied to it until the news of his death. Must explain why I thought to call him later,” Wetaka said.
He noted that they later received an audio message from an eyewitness and the news of the finding of his body.
“Dr. Abdullah had gone with a number of friends, mostly fellow doctors, to Nabugabo Sand Beach in Masaka. He had been going rafting and decided to take them. The others chickened out but Ahmed and Dr. Kidambire went into the lake on a raft. Not far in, Kidambire fell into the water. He couldn’t swim, so Abdullah jumped in to save him, shouting, keep calm. On seeing the two gentlemen struggling, the guys at the shore ran to call for help. When they returned moments later, the two life jackets were floating and the young doctors were missing,” Wetaka said.
Wataka said Dr. Abdullah had always told him his dream was to go back to Somalia and help rebuild the nation.
“This beautiful and noble dream was on course. However, fate has rudely and suddenly stopped it in its tracks. He’ll be remembered as the epitome of humility, kindness, generosity, loyalty and empathy. What a man. I didn’t know Dr. Kidambire but his friends speak of him as a very bright and focused young man from Kaliro District. One Facebook page reports that he had been the Head of Intern Doctors at the Hospital. He is survived by an expectant partner, who at this time needs all the support in the world,” Wetaka said.
He noted that the two young doctors gave everything to save lives, but we couldn’t save them when they needed us.
“I first met Dr. Abdullah in 2012 at then Turkish Light Academy, now Light Academy Boys SS. He was a skinny and funny guy; a big lover of football, Manchester United was his drug. A Ugandan of Somali origin, born in Fort Portal. He sometimes referred to himself as a Mutooro. Ahmed told me stories about his homeland, Somalia — only to later confess that he’d never been there. Such was his wit! He showed me around the school and helped me settle in and feel at home. He was one of my very first friends and my closest,” Wetaka said.
He said they belonged to the same house. “We shared a dormitory with 14 other gentlemen. We shared Chemistry classes with 15 others and Biology with 9 others. Our Mathematics class was slightly bigger, maybe over 45, the grief I feel can’t let me recall. We took ICT and General paper classes together. These numbers show the closeness and hours each day, for two years, we spent together,” he added.
He described Dr. Abdullah as a very kind and generous young man. “I think I took more of his flavored milk than he did himself. Well, I had a few good things to share myself. I cannot recall Ahmed being involved in a scuffle. He never hated anyone. He never held a grudge. Many referred to him as everyone’s friend but he was a brother to me. I felt the kindness and warmth of his heart every other day,” Wetaka further stated.
He said the Somali community in the school looked up to him. I mean, he was a science student, probably the first. He was the most senior of them and he played “big brother’ even to those that were chronologically older and morphologically much larger than he was. So many times, he had to settle disputes, uplift moods and offer academic and moral guidance to his “clan”. He was always approachable and kept an open door at all times.


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