Museveni’s Advisor Weighs-in on Plight of Migrant Worker at Saudi Hospital

Joan Agnes Kyotalimye

The Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora Affairs has called upon the general public to remain calm as government intervenes on the plight of a one Joan Agnes Kyotalimye who was allegedly diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) in Saudi Arabia.

Kyotalimye’s audio has since gone viral on social media crying out for help in fear for life calling upon government and the general public to come to her aid. She is currently in a medical facility in Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Senior Presidential Adviser on Diaspora Affairs, Amb. Abbey Walusimbi revealed that his office has since reached out to all relevant stakeholders to establish the truth around Kyotalimye’s case so as to have it handled expeditiously.

“Upon receiving the widely spread voice note of Joan when she is pleading for government intervention, the office established contact with Joan, her employer Rola Awadh Mohammad Al Juhaysh, Medical officials at the Dammam Medical complex, the local recruitment company Alasker, the Embassy of Uganda in Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Gender,” Amb. Walusimbi said in a statement.

Below is Amb. Walusimbi’s statement:

When we reached out to Joan on Sunday evening, my team established that she travelled on 24th September 2022 and on Wednesday 28th September, her bosses asked her to escort them to a medical facility, where different samples were drawn from her which we later learnt was for purposes of processing her health insurance and work permit. After a few days, the boss told her they were taking her to hospital again for more tests and then told to pack all her things and take them along. At the Dammam medical complex, she was told that she tested positive to Pulmonary TB, and was sent to an isolation room in the same facility.

Our team reached out to the sponsor/ employer of Joan Mr. Rola Awadh Mohammad Al Juhaysh and he said that the initial tests done at First Health Cluster Joan’s results after conducting the AFB test, revealed that she was positive to Pulmonary TB, and he was advised to check her into a medical facility for isolation and better management of the disease.

A Medical personnel at Dammam Medical Complex where Joan is currently being treated said that they needed to run more tests to assess the extent of the infection, so they did an X-Ray and more tests at their Orthopedic Surgery 4 clinic/ ward. The doctor further informed my team that Although Joan didn’t show any symptoms besides a mild cough, they could not risk letting her in spaces with other people because TB is highly contagious, but they have since started administering the treatment.

Amb. Abbey Walusimbi

My team crosschecked with our local doctors on the incubation period of this disease and we learnt that it takes between 3-9 weeks for a person with high immunity, and about 2 weeks for a person with low immunity to test positive to the TB bacteria before they show any symptoms

The above accounts, confirm that our daughter is really is sick and needed urgent medical care. My team has since established, that the claims about a prospective surgery is a clear misunderstanding and misinterpretation on some of the wording on her medical forms, especially the part that indicates the “Orthopedic surgery 4 clinic” as, the Saudi authorities have reiterated to us that there has never been any intention to operate on her. I will relate this scenario to being sent to the heart or cancer institute here in our Mulago for tests, however this doesn’t mean that you are a heart / cancer disease case.

Our interactions with the different security organizations both locally and in the host country, plus the people around Joan, have also established that Our sister and daughter’s distraught is a result of the ignorance of some people that the she contacted, immediately who misguided her to record the audio that is circulating, despite their lack of credible facts surrounding her case.

I encourage our daughter Joan to cooperate with the medical officials by taking her medications because this is in the interest of her life and not against her.

The Office the President Diaspora Affairs appreciates the medical personnel treating our beloved citizen and all the members of the diaspora that brought the issue to our attention.  I call for a calm and positive environment as we try to help our sister. Our Office alongside all the relevant stakeholders, is holding more engagements and together we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom of this.


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