U.S. Missionary With No Medical Training Killed Over 100 Ugandan Children After Posing As A Doctor
By Stephanie Ogbogu
Two Ugandan parents are calling for the prosecution of a U.S. missionary who traveled to eastern Uganda and performed medical procedures on thousands of children despite not being a doctor and having nothing more than a high school diploma.
Renee Bach left her home in Virginia in 2007 and founded Serving His Children, a private healthcare facility in eastern Uganda to treat children suffering from severe malnutrition. Bach is said to have taken children from local hospitals and transported them to her organization for care. However, what Ugandans didn’t know at the time is that beyond wearing a white coat and stethoscope, Bach was not a licensed physician. She had not even gone to college. Regardless of her lack of education, Bach would administer medication to young Ugandan children, which has resulted in the death of at least 100 local kids.
The facility was ordered to be closed in 2015 by the District Health Office, however, Bach continued to provide treatment to children. Gimbo Zubeda and Kakai Annet, mothers of two deceased children, say they were misled to believe the SHC was a legit medical facility. Those women, alongside Women’s Probono Initiative (WPI), are seeking justice for the kids who lost their lives due to Bach’s care.
“There are procedural and regulatory mechanisms that ought to be followed when establishing a medical facility in Uganda. Even so, the law provides for licensing agencies and protocols for who should practice medicine in Uganda,” Beatrice Kayaga, an officer at the WPI, said in a press release. “It is unacceptable, narcissistic behavior, for anyone, black or white, rich or poor, missionary or angel to pass off as a ‘medical practitioner’ when they are not. By doing so, they mislead unsuspecting vulnerable members of the public.”
“The actions of Renee & SHC have caused so much pain, injustice, a lack of transparency and accountability by the organization Serving His Children. The Judiciary has a role to play in ending this,” she added.
Blog posts published by Bach have since been deleted but archives show she performed procedures on children as young as 9 months old. In one post, she hooked a 9 month old baby up to oxygen, started an IV, and even performed tests to check for malaria and blood sugar levels.
Kakai Annet’s son, Elijah Benjamin, would have just turned two years old this year.
In a statement, SHC says that Bach never presented herself as a physician and was always under the supervision of licensed medical professionals. They also state they cared for over 3,500 children, with “a recovery rate of over 96 percent.”
Some of the living children cared for by Bach have been left disfigured due to botched blood transfusions, according to No White Saviors (NWS), a group raising awareness of this case on social media. One child was allegedly left with irreversible mental disorders.
Zubeda and Annet are suing Bach for the deaths of their children. Unfortunately, Bach did not show up for court in Jinja last March and it’s believed that she may have returned to the United States.