Medical report reveals what killed speaker Jacob Oulanyah

While reading a brief medical report from Seattle, USA where the deceased was admitted, Dr Aceng also revealed that Oulanyah's ill health started in 2019.

Members of the 11th Parliament pay tribute to former speaker Jacob Oulanyah. Credit: Parliament of Uganda.

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has told the 11th Parliament that the former speaker Jacob Oulanyah died of multiple organ failure.

While reading a brief medical report from Seattle, USA where the deceased was admitted, Dr Aceng also revealed that Oulanyah’s ill health started in 2019.


Oulanyah was earlier this year flown out of the country to the US for specialized treatment but was pronounced dead on March, 20,2022.

“The immediate cause of death was multi organ failure. The  heart failed,  the lungs failed,  the liver failed  and the  kidney failed,” Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng Tuesday told a special parliamentary session that was paying tribute to Jacob Oulanyah.

Dr Aceng said Oulanyah’s liver and lungs started failing before he was flown out. The lungs, she noted had even started collecting fluids.

“The kidney and heart failed while in Seatle. He also had multiple bacterial infections while still here and viral infections while in Seattle. The treatment for viral infections further suppressed the bone marrow,” she said.

In 2019, the minister said Jacob Oulanyah discovered he had a swelling in the neck.

“It was a relatively big swelling and took it upon himself to see k medical attention in Germany. The swelling was removed, analysed and he was told it was a cancer. He was started on treatment which he finished in Uganda cancer institute,” said Dr Aceng.

©️ Parliament of Uganda.

It was then that the late Oulanyah decided to visit several other hospitals in a bid to get specialized treatment for the same illness but will little success. According to Dr Aceng, this was due to the 2020 covid-19 global lockdown and later on, the tight general election campaign in 2021.

Dr Aceng also reported that while Oulanyah was going through all this, Oulanyah was being prepared to be flown abroad  by reaching out to hospitals which could provide treatment that didn’t require multiple chemotherapy which had already been done on him and had suppressed his bone marrow.

However, Aceng observed that by the time he was flown out of the country, the situation had deteriorated.

At this stage, because of the suppressed bone marrow, Oulanyah’s body could no longer produce white and red blood cells. And unfortunately, he had also developed multi-drug resistant bacteria which he had acquired due to staying in hospital for too long.

The former speaker’s body will lie in state at parliament until tomorrow (Wednesday) when he will be taken to the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for a state funeral.

He will thereafter be airlifted to Omoro County for the final send off on Friday, March 8, 2022.