Imagine darkness. Then, see the light.

#CancerUG Alex Mulamba dies

by on Aug.03, 2015, under #CancerUG, Advertising, Observations, Workforce and Work Ethics

I’m hash-tagging this story with #CancerUG because this is another death that could have been prevented, even though it wasn’t cancer. Yet it is cancer of our society that we don’t try to give our all to find meaningful solutions in advance, before disease strikes and before life is critical, then lost.

Alex was a graphic designer. I remember interacting with him ages ago, when he still worked with Graphic Systems. I met him a few times, that’s all. But his story is painful and is a story of many.

I was told that Alex made some poor decisions in life. Drinking and getting on people’s nerves because of it was one such poor decision. Starting a family where three kids are now orphans is another poor decision, as he knew well he won’t be able to manage with his habits and salary.

Not looking after his health was another poor decision. Finding out about the kidney problem way too late was another poor decision. All these things would have been avoided if Alex had more focus on his own life and wellbeing.

I don’t know much more but this is miserable enough. It is, also, in a society of ours, a very common thing to abandon ship when it finally starts sinking. So when Alex started dying, his family, friends began building some distance.

Please – I’m not naming names and I don’t care who did what and for what reasons. I hope the guy gets a good, clean, quick burial and I know he left nothing behind so there won’t be any fights over property and money. Maybe the little NSSF money but I hope wife gets that, she’ll need it with three kids.

I’m calling you to think. About our future. Look at this society. How can a guy just die of kidney failure yet the efforts were put in place to fundraise and help him make it? What can we do, as an industry (advertising) to ensure we have a buffer that will cater to these cases in the future?

I suggest we start a fund, under the Uganda Advertising Association. If each person employed in the industry or related to it (suppliers, clients) contributes $100, we are going to have a healthy start. Further contributions will be based on good will and periodic fundraising activities.

Fund should be invested for sustainable growth and administered by trustees who will have a difficult task – to say no to cases that are not critical or can be managed in other ways. But should anyone need a kidney transplant again, the money would be there.

We can not hope to grow Uganda’s capacity to perform complex lifesaving medical procedures but one of the things trustees can do is to investigate all improvements in provision of medical services in the country so we can know who is capable of doing what kind of procedure and at what cost. Keeping our options open at home and abroad.

This, I hope, inspires thinking in a positive, proactive direction. We have the power to decide should we continue mourning lives lost or should we do something about it, joining hands to save lives. I’d much appreciate comments and Ideas as I believe this is the topic worth discussing further. Thanks for reading.

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