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Gulu Councillors Want Street Named After Prof. Odonga

At least four different proposals have been drafted to keep the memory Professor Alexander Mwa Odonga alive in Gulu district. Odonga, a veteran surgeon and author, died last week and is due to be buried at the Church Cemetery at St. Phillip Mican, the seat of Gulu Anglican Diocese on Thursday.
Janet Odonga the Widow of Professor Alexander Mwa Odonga Viewing the Body of Her Husband From Gulu District Council Hall on Wednesday
At least four different proposals have been drafted to keep the memory Professor Alexander Mwa Odonga alive in Gulu district.

Professor Odonga, a veteran surgeon and author, died last week and is due to be buried at the Church Cemetery at St. Phillip Mican, the seat of Gulu Anglican Diocese on Thursday.

A section of Gulu district councillors want council to among other proposals, gazette a street in his honour. They also want his portrait displayed in the district hall of fame.

Rose Amono Abili, the councillor representing Bungatira Sub County says the contributions of Prof. Odonga must be preserved as living memory to inspire other medical practitioners.

Amono says this can best be done if his portrait is emblazoned on the wall of the hall of fame, side by side with other departed medical heroes such as Dr. Mathew Lukwiya and Dr. Piero Corti. 

Dr Lukwiya died in 2000 while leading a team of medical staff to confront the ebola outbreak in Gulu district. He was honoured posthumously with a national heroes medal. Dr Corti founded St. Mary's Hospital, Lacor in Gulu, the same hospital Lukwiya was heading at the time of death.

Justine Simpleman Obol, the Laroo division councillor said the memory of Prof. Odonga can be made more visible if a street in Gulu Town is named after the departed academician and author.  

The proposals were fronted during an event at Gulu district council hall in which hundreds of residents received the body of the professor.  A somber atmosphere engulfed the council hall as members of the public viewed his body.

Maxwell Ocen, the Patiko sub county councillor proposed that the national idea of having an annual memorial lecture be domesticated in Gulu to address local challenges affecting the health sector in the district.

Ocen urged learning institutions to consider naming a hall in memory of the Professor Odonga.

Simon Peter Oola, the Gulu district vice chairperson pledged to table the proposals before the district executive committee for further discussions. He hailed Professor Odonga for venturing into Literature by writing the Lwo – English dictionary that continues to be used worldwide.

It is hoped Council will discuss the proposals in detail next month. 

Professor Alexander Mwa Odonga was born in 1922 in Patiko Sub County in Gulu district. He was one of the first two surgeons in East Africa.

The residents had joined a section of Gulu district councillors to pay their last respects ahead of his burial on Thursday. Prof. Odonga died of progressive heart failure from Mulago National referral hospital last Wednesday.

John Okwonga, the speaker of Gulu district council described the late Alexander as a big blessing to the people of Acholi sub region. He said his death left a gapping gap in the region.