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Mbarara Hospital Ex-Board Chair Prof John Iraka honoured for exceptional service

Mbarara Referral Hospital Director Dr Celestine Barigye handing over an accolade to the Hospital’s former board chairman. Photo by MRRH PR Unit

Mbarara, (UG): Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) has honoured its former Board Chairman Board Professor Emeritus John Wilson Iraka Owange for his exceptional contribution towards the establishment and flourishment of the regional medical facility.

In his early 80s, the retired but not tired Professor of Paediatrics has been serving at western Uganda’s biggest health facility since 2016.

His appreciation award was delivered to him by the Mbarara Referral Hospital Executive Director Dr Celestine Barigye at his retirement residence in the Kakiika division, Mbarara City suburb.

While receiving the accolade, the Professor whose service as the Hospital’s Board Chairman since 2016 beamed with a smile. Prof Iraka expressed gratitude to the Hospital Administration adding that the award came through as a surprise as he wasn’t notified.

Prof John Iraka Owange with an appreciation award at his home in Kakiika Mbarara City.

The Outgoing MRRH Board Chairman applauded the Minister of Health for giving him an opportunity to serve the institution which he says he still had at heart.

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He also appreciated Dr Barigye and his administration for the support and guidance rendered to him while still in service.

Professor Iraka’s wife and children joked that Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital had become a home for the father who might suffer from homesickness.

The former Board Chairman and son in a group photo with the Hospital Director Dr Barigye Celestine.

Dr Celestine Barigye who was accompanied by the Mbarara Referral Hospital Public Relations Officer Halson Kagure described the Outgoing Board Chair as a cautious man who took informed decisions during his reign.

“ Prof I want to appreciate you for the wise decisions which you could make on behalf of the Hospital’s growth and development”, Dr Barigye said.

It’s important to note that what has transformed MRRH is attributed to harmonious chemistry between the Hospital Board and the Hospital Administration.

Experts argue that most institutions lag behind in development due to friction between two bodies which was never the case at Mbarara Referral Hospital.

Halson Kagure the Hospital’s Public Relations Officer says that the staff at MRRH will miss Professor Iraka’s wise counsel to the medics adding that he has also been honoring most of the hospital’s events with inspirational talks.

According to Kagure among other responsibilities, the board offers a strategic vision and direction for the institution on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

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But much as Professor Iraka’s term hit expiry, he says that his dream was to see the government elevating Mbarara Hospital to a national referral hospital to continue rendering services effectively.



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