Like all Ugandan music followers, I’s taken aback by the news of sudden loss of a 25year old young musician who (used to) goes by stage name AK47. I looked with concern over how well we’ve acquired PhDs in Law to judge this young man’s life. Some tweeps seemed to ‘correctly’ hypothesise how AK47 had been knocked out by excessive levels of Cocaine as he’s chilling at Club DejaVu-which is allegedly known to be a Cocaine hub. The Uganda Police confirmed the fallen young man had a cut on his head as well as the rest of the body, so even my grandmother can correctly ascertain that his death couldnt have been caused by too much cocaine in his body. Clearly, there was physical violence involved, but the processes that led him to end in the washing rooms where he apparently blacked out can only be hypothesised. Two of the oldest professions of mankind ie Prostitution and Drugs have continuously been a Pin-In-Arse for policy makers and implementers:-there is one thing that comes out winning, always:-them! Why? Most likely because we’re quick to criminalise the people involved as we see them as ‘social failures’ instead of dealing with the real issues. But again, that’s not what I intend to write about.
The million Uganda Shillings question for public health practitioners, Club owners and the general public is: Could this young man’s life been saved in anyway?
- When he was found bleeding in the nose and mouth in the washrooms, the first thing the first responder did was to phone call his friends to come and help him. How long did this take? I dont have evidence, but clearly the first responder could have done more. A person who is bleeding in the mouth and nose is absolutely not taking in oxygen. His airway has been obstructed partially or completely. Humans have no (yet) potential to breathe through their skin. The young man needed to have his airway opened, a simple trick of Jaw thrust or head tilt…and this skill can be learned by anyone anywhere any time in absolutely zero time.
- When his friends (finally) arrived, I read that they used their shirts to fan him:-thinking he was being given fresh air. First aid isnt really covered in Uganda’s education system at all levels and they seem to have done their job. But unless the casualty is evaluated for breathing (Look-Listen-Feel technique), you are as well doing nothing, because the air wont be going no where.
- So, they hurled him onto a personal car. You begin to ask yourself, all these years, we still dont have a national emmergency toll free line, plus, no ambulance network atleast equiped with basic life support. At that stage, Mr AK47, needed 100% oxygen and IV-fluid replacements as he was bleeding. His friends maneuvred through the traffic jams, driving along pavements and finally found a clinic.
- At this stage, Mr AK47 doesnt need to be hurled into a level clinic in Uganda. He needs to be in Intensive Care and I mean, a real Intensive Care Unit. So, theres more time wastage as he is being taken to another hospital, where he was pronounced dead 5 minutes later. Ofcourse, the young man died before all that. The human brain cells begin to die just after 4 minutes without oxygen and heart muscles 8 minutes. So, with all the movements, how long did it take him to get to a real hospital?
- If Mr AK47 fell, as preveously alleged, aint there no Camera’s at Club DejaVu to ascertain this? The level of falling influences the impact of the injury he’d have suffered. I have never been to this club before:-some one should explain this.
- Uganda’s occupational health and safety guidlines urges all public places to have atleat 1 trained first aider for every 25 people. How many people were at this club during this time, and how many trained first aiders are employed there? If there’s none, how did the club get licensing in the first DAMN case!
While the young man’s present and future has been robbed of him and his twins, it remains a ‘For God & My Stomach’ approach in ensuring safety and health of all Ugandans. Where’re our leaders smoking? If we only answer 3 of the 6 reflections put above, and you know them, we can upgrade greatly from the cultural museum of It-was-Gods-Plan we’re living in.
Mr AK47, We failed you! That should be the message of Ministry of Health, Uganda Police & I hate to say it:-ALL OUR LEADERS (With No Exception)
Related stories: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/665927-chameleon-s-brother-ak47-reported-dead.html , http://www.redpepper.co.ug/singer-ak-47-is-dead/