Woman accused of letting African babies die at fake medical facility in Uganda

Date: 
June, 2019
Country: 
United States of America

A white American missionary has been accused of posing as a doctor and running a fake medical facility in Africa where she cared for hundreds of children, many of whom did not survive her treatment.

Renee Bach, a native of Bedford, Va., has been back and forth between the U.S. and Uganda for more than a decade, eventually starting a nonprofit called “Serving His Children,” which focused on preventative care and treatment for children suffering from malnutrition. In a 2017 interview, Bach told WSLS that she started the charity in 2008 when she was 18, after a trip to the East African country. In 2010, she even began the process of adopting a Ugandan girl she met when the child was two weeks old.

But now, a group representing Ugandan parents has filed a lawsuit against Bach and her Christian organization, claiming that the woman represented herself as a doctor and characterized her home as a medical facility, causing the death of an estimated 100 children, according to All Africa.

The Women’s Probono Initiative, the organization that filed a lawsuit on behalf of two mothers who say their infant children died in Bach’s care, allege that Bach was often seen wearing a white medical coat and stethoscope, and administering medication to children; she allegedly even took children out of local Ugandan hospitals and moved them to the Serving His Children’s “treatment center.”

After the death of their children, the complainants say they discovered that Bach had no medical qualifications and was ordered by Ugandan officials in 2015 to stop treating children and shut down her facility in Jinja. But two years later, Bach told the News Advance that her facility is registered with the Ugandan government as a rehabilitation center.

The official Ugandan High Court documents, obtained by The Root, contain allegations that Bach (who only has a high school diploma) was not a licensed medical practitioner but still “unlawfully practiced medicine and offered ‘medical services’ to unsuspecting vulnerable children.”

According to one report, a Ugandan official even says he personally witnessed Bach give a blood transfusion to a child sitting under a tree. That article, written by Nikki Gagnon, even contains a photograph of Bach inserting an intravenous line into an infant. Affidavits from the complaint reportedly contain testimony from a registered nurse affirming that Bach was observed performing a number of medical procedures. Former Serving His Children employee Semei Jolly told Al Jazeera that Bach would often cancel medication prescribed by local doctors and implement her own treatments. According to Jolly, when he raised the subject, Bach’s employees responded that “a boss is a boss.”

Source: The Root