PAKWACH. Pakwach district Council is divided over a move by the district Chairman to rename Pakwach Health Center IV in recognition to a fallen ‘son of the soil’.
In a heated council meeting at Pakwach Town Council, Mr Robert Omito Steen the district chairman moved a motion that sought the approval of the council to rename Pakwach Health Center IV to Prof VL Ongom Memorial Hospital.
He argued that late Prof Ongom, who hailed from the district, is a hero who sacrificed to serve the country at one of the most difficult times the country was undergoing.
He maintained that the linkage of professor Ongom to Makerere University medical school where he has been honoured with an inaugural memorial lecture on 28 June this year where he lectured and produced great academicians shall develops the hospital.
He also said renaming it will mean upgrading the health centre to a full hospital.
But the proposal did not auger well with some councilors who wanted the old healt facility preserved and a new one built in his hounour instead.
Ms Torrence Akera, the representative of Pakwach town council to the district Council recalled that the decision to rename the Health Center started way back in 1990 but a decision couldn't be reached. She noted that in the recently concluded Town council meeting, the motion to rename the health Centre was defeated.
Mr Isaac Ocanda, another councilor expressed reservations about the name change fearing legal challenges but his fears were calmed by Mr Charles Muswa, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer said the district was prepared for anything.
But the town council chairman said if enough time was given to the issue, locals would have been sensitized to provide land for the new hospital and the old one preserved.
After intense debate with the Councilors failing to reach a compromise position, the speaker Ms Christine Manda put the matter to a vote and those for renaming took the day.
District authorities now expect President Yoweri Museveni to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the hospital later this month.
Prof V L Ongom was a renowned academician with exceptional credibility, served diligently in the Ugandan army from 1966-67. In1969, he transitioned when he was appointed a lecturer in the department of preventive Medicine at Makerere University medical school.
He hails from Panyingoro clan of Jonam in the present Pakwach district. He became a Professor in 1975 after serving as associate Professor as well as senior lecturer at Makerere University medical school.
He died of a stroke in 1980 at the age of 47 after being flown to Belfast for treatment.