Police have revealed that three pilgrims died either on their way or inside the Martyrs Shrines on June 3rd when the annual event to celebrate the lives of Uganda Martyrs is marked.
Theresa Benta, one of the victims collapsed and died during offertory at Namugongo Catholic shrine.
Dr Dan Kyamanywa, the Kibaale District Health Officer (DHO), who was also the coordinator for the health committee for this year’s Martyrs Day celebrations, said the deceased aged 80 had stood up to give her offertory before she collapsed and died instantly.
“Our health workers on the ground rushed to help her and she was taken to Zia Angella health center for treatment. Doctors examined her and realized she was already dead,” Dr Kyamanywa said.
Dr Kyamanywa said Benta’s body was taken to the city morgue and asked Christians to pray for her soul.
The medical team at Namugongo gave treatment to more than 20,000 pilgrims who according to Dr Kyamanywa suffered from malaria and body fatigue since they had trekked hundreds of kilometers.
At least 15 pilgrims were rushed to the different hospitals in critical condition. Dr Kyamanywa said the pilgrims had complicated conditions that needed urgent attention.
“We had over 100 health workers deployed to provide medical aide to our pilgrims and they did this job very well. We also had several ambulances provided by the dioceses, ministry of health and Red Cross,” Dr Kyamanywa said.
He applauded Kampala hospitals among others Lubaga, Mulago and Red Cross for the care they provided to the sick pilgrims. Over three million pilgrims are estimated to have graced this year’s martyr’s celebrations.