Professor Racheal Musoke, a Ugandan Neonatologist, has died.
This was revealed by the former Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, through his official Twitter handle.
“We mourn the passing, and celebrate the distinguished life and contribution of Prof Racheal Musoke, a leader in peadiatric training and practice in East Africa. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” Rugunda said.
Musoke had retired at 76, having worked as a neonatologist at the Kenyatta National Hospital almost all her life.
A neonatologist specialises in caring for newborns, especially the sick or those born prematurely.
In an interview with Kenya’s Standard Media, she attributed her journey in medicine to her brother who suggested the subjects she should take in her senior school.
She said that was in 1950s at Gayaza High School where her class happened to be the first to teach Physics and Chemistry.
In 1964, she joined Makerere University for medical school, by that time, it was the only medical school in East Africa.
It was still called the University of East Africa Makerere College.
She was among eight girls in a class of 60 students. Of the eight girls, Prof Musoke was one of the only two Africans.
It was during her internship that her journey in paediatrics began after she was posted to the paediatric department where she chose to remain after one year.
She earned her master’s degree in 1971 at Makerere university but later proceeded to to the UK for her neonatology fellowship.
She has since been to different schools across the globe, taking various courses including the Comprehensive Paediatric HIV Care course.
She would later move to Kenya where she started working as a paediatrician and a consultant neonatologist at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Musoke is also credited for starting the use of kangaroo care for mothers in Kenya, a method of caring for babies until they gained weight by ensuring they were well fed.
Kangaroo mother care originated from Bogota, Colombia, where a team from Kenyatta was sent and upon return, founded the Kangaroo Mother Care at the referral facility.
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