Medical fraternity mourns aged malariologists

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He was an icon of medicine in Uganda, whose heritage and practice grew into the careers of many young doctors

President Museveni honored Dr. Charles Sezi for his contribution to the fight against malaria.

He was an icon of medicine in Uganda, whose heritage and practice grew into the careers of many young doctors

The medical fraternity mourns the loss of a famous medic, Dr. Charles Sezi, a senior physician who specializes in the fight against malaria.

The malariologist worked as a doctor at Mulago Hospital for years, teaching many young doctors before he retired. At the time of going to press it was not yet clear what exactly Dr. Sezi’s death.

The President of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr. Richard Idro, described Sezi as an icon of medicine in Uganda, whose heritage and practice grew into the careers of many young doctors.

“The UMA celebrates the life of an icon of medicine in Uganda,” Idro said today, adding that Sezi was a medical professional who influenced the careers of generations of doctors and the practice of medicine not just in Uganda but in East Africa as a whole . “Your legacy and your memory will stay in our hearts,” added Idro.

In recognition of his clear service to the country, President Yoweri Museveni Sezi recently presented an award for his contribution to the fight against malaria in Uganda. The President gave him a plaque.

Sezi on the news

Not only was Sezi a renowned medical professional and his contribution to medical fraternity, he was always on the news about his status, which sometimes led to controversy.

In November 2001, it was cited as the start of a debate when he proposed labeling HIV patients as a means of easy identification to aid the fight against the Scourge.

At a conference of over 450 doctors and counselors in Kampala, Sezi suggested helping identify those living with HIV / AIDS when he presented a paper on “Rights of Health Workers and Patients in Combating HIV / AIDS”.

In a debate that followed, doctors were divided. Some doctors agreed and suggested that a new law be passed to make HIV testing a must, so that those found positive are tracked and discouraged from marriages. However, other doctors said it was a violation of human rights and would lead to social discrimination.

In July 2003, Sezi and Prof. Medi Kawuma, an ophthalmologist consultant, warned against overuse of anti-malarial drugs. Chloroquine, quinine, and mepacrine can cause blindness.

Sezi and Kawuma reported at an international student conference on malaria control that research had shown that the three drugs had toxic effects and could lead to total or partial visual impairment.

In his research paper entitled; “The phenomenon of decreasing return in the use of bed nets and spraying indoors and the emergence of antimalarial drugs in the fight against malaria in Uganda,” Sezi dismissed the use of a mosquito net to fight malaria.

In the article published in the Africa Health Sciences Journal in March 2014, Sezi argued that the mosquito net existed long before mosquitoes were known to transmit malaria and that it was therefore not intended to be used for malaria control.

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