Remembering Dr Ahmad

Dr Mukhtar Ahmad practised medicine in Uganda for many years (Photo Image: New Vision)

Today I read in the New Vision that Dr Mukhtar Ahmad has passed on. Today is the first time in years that I think about him. When I last visited his clinic in 2000, a young doctor was now the lead doctor at the clinic. It did not feel the same. His clinic was based on Entebbe Road which was our family stop for when we had malaria in the 80s.

The clinic walls were covered with black glossy tiles and you could see the dancing shapes of cars driving on Entebbe Road. When you climbed up the terrazzo steps, you stepped into a large waiting room with a wooden floor. The waiting chairs lined along the large windows were wooden with brown or was it maroon leather cushioning? Sometimes the sun struck you directly through the windows and if you were really sick, you moved away looking for a shade and waited for your turn to be called as the medical stuff bustled back and forth.

Those were the days when Chloroquine was the main drug for treating malaria. And because the tablets were big (not chocolate coated like the ones today) for a little child to swallow, my mother would first crash it on a teaspoon and pour on water and make me drink it. I can still feel the bitter aftertaste on my tongue before I would reach out for the teaspoon of sugar which she held in her other hand to counteract the bitter taste. As a child, I feared the clinic because I feared the injection. I would flay my hands and legs, added with a shrill voice to show my resistance to the dreaded injection but I always lost in the end.

The one memory that stands out in my mind is during a visit to his clinic, when he came to take my temperature and place the stethoscope on my chest, I moved away. He asked me what was wrong, I said I did not want the injection. He asked me if he could give me sweets. I said I wanted five sweets. He gave me this round pink tablet-like looking sweet, which when you put on the tongue melted as you sucked away at it. It took my mind off the fear of the injection that awaited me. I remember Dr Ahmad as the doctor who made the terrifying clinic experience for a little child less dreadful. May he rest in peace.

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5 thoughts on “Remembering Dr Ahmad

  1. Dear Jackee, Thank you so very much for this tribute. It greatly comforts us to know, that people do remember the good and those who interacted with my father, more so. Your appreciation is heartfelt and we pray for him and for your family wellbeing to.
    Warmest Regards.
    Dr. Musawwir Ahmad jr

    • Dear Dr Musawwir Ahmad,

      It is a pleasure hearing from you. I am glad that you found my blog and read the tribute about your father. I think he was one of a kind and did a great service to many Ugandans.

      kind regards,

      Jackee

  2. May Dr. Ahmad Rest in Peace, indeed he is the only doctor that I can recall from my childhood memories.
    Caroline Batanda

  3. Jackie thank you so much He was a Great Man who served without expectations and remained here in Uganda with us , when he had greener pastures to move . He Choose to be with us until his last moment he was a True Ugandan , We will always cherish his fatherly advise & guidance
    We Pray to the Lord to Rests his soul in Eternal Peace

    • Thank you Pradeep for your kind words. The good works that we do always outlive us and in that way Dr Ahmad’s good works will live on, held in the memories of the Ugandans that interacted with him. He served our country well. My blog post was to honor him.

      regards,

      Jackee

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