The Makerere University administrators have neglected Ssebuganda Richard, a third year medical student who earlier this year lost his hands to a teargas canister as students protested the maintenance of the online learning model in line with the COVID-19 lockdown.
On February 8, Ssebuganda returned to his room in Lumumba hall, only to find an abandoned teargas canister. He attempted to dispose it off an it exploded right in his hands, leaving his fingers raptured. Ssebuganda was rushed to Mulago hospital where he underwent surgery and had to lose several of his fingers on the left hand.
The surgery marked a new beginning in his life, and drove him towards psychological trauma and severe depression. His profession as a medical personnel had to be placed to a pause as it is a widely practical venture. Three months since the tragic scenario, Ssebuganda contemplates about leaving the course to go about other ventures. The distressed student says the university administration neglected him soon as his case fizzled off the mainstream media. He believes all the university and police pledges were mainly meant for PR to cool down the anger of the public.
He says he experiences phantom pain, a medical condition that is said to affect a missing body part.
“Phantom pain is pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there,” explained a medical source.
“I’m actually so depressed and emotionally down. I’m so tired of life. My dream has died. I want to leave this course because I feel I can’t make it anymore,” he says.
Ssebuganda’s other major worry is that he’s receiving threats from some administrators. He pins the Dean of Students Winfred Kabumbuli who asked him to refrain from pestering the administration to fulfill the pledges it made in the council resolutions.