NAIROBI, September 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Award-winning author, medical doctor, and world-renowned pro-life advocate Dr. Margaret Ogola passed away on Thursday, September 22, 2011. She had battled with cancer for many years.
Dr. Ogola was the author of several highly acclaimed novels including “The River And The Source,” a book that follows the lives of four generations of Kenyan women in a rapidly changing world, and a sequel, “I Swear By Apollo,” that examines issues of medical ethics and authentic identity.
She was the Director of the Institute of Healthcare Management at Strathmore University in Nairobi, the Medical Director of Cottolengo Hospice, a hospice for HIV and AIDS orphans, the Executive Director of the Family Life Counselling Association of Kenya, and National Executive Secretary for Health and Family Life at the Kenya Episcopal Conference.
Dr. Ogola also helped found and manage the SOS HIV/AIDS Clinic, a clinic for people living with AIDS, and was the Country Co-ordinator of Hope for African Children Initiative (HACI), a partnership of several international NGOs which included Plan, CARE, Save the Children, Society for Women and AIDS, World Conference for Religion and Peace, and World Vision.
However, Dr. Ogola was most widely known for her worldwide pro-life work.
In a speech Dr. Ogola made at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, said, “Unless we recognize that each individual is irrepeatable and valuable by virtue of simply being conceived human, we cannot begin to talk about human rights. This includes the right to be born, as all of us have enjoyed.
“True justice should be for each human being, visible and invisible, young and old, disabled and able, to enjoy fully their right to life. The accidental attributes that we acquire such as colour, sex intelligence, economic circumstances, physical or mental disability should not be used as an excuse to deprive a person of life,” she said in her speech titled “The Dignity of African Women.”
Dr. Ogola received the Familias Award for Humanitarian Service of the World Congress of Families (WCF) in 1999 in Geneva, Switzerland.
On accepting the Familias Award, Dr. Ogola reflected, “It appears that the general instinct of humanity – standing in awe of the power of the procreative act – was to shield the sexual act from misuse, and also to shield the society from the impact the misuse of sex could unleash on a populace … However, by the late Sixties, this ideal of sex between only men and women committed to each other in the bond of marriage began to come apart.”
This, she said, was followed by “the collapse of the ideal of the sacred nature of sex,” leading to “children being born out of wedlock, marital breakdown, abandonment of children and the elderly who used to be held in great esteem, and of course an explosive increase in sexually transmitted disease of every kind.”
Dr. Ogola was especially adamant about the destruction caused by Western population control agencies flooding Africa with contraceptives as a requirement for receiving international aid.
She said the distribution of millions of condoms which have an “about 30% failure rate” has not only failed to stem the spread of disease, but has also broken down delicate tribal taboos against promiscuous sexual behavior. She noted that Western propaganda has convinced millions of young Africans that sex with condoms is “safe sex.”
“The disbelief and shock in the reaction of young people when I tell them they have AIDS is heart-breaking. ‘But it was SAFE sex!’, they tell me,” said Dr. Ogola in an interview published by Original Sources.
She emphasized that aggressive western promotion of the condom by the aid agencies were “very destructive for Africans,” weakened their natural African moral fibre and made them more prone to acquiring AIDS.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews in 2004 while she was in Toronto for a series of talks, Dr. Ogola said AIDS had become a women’s disease in Africa, with HIV infected women outnumbering men 3 to 1 because of poverty and resulting transactional sex, and because of the breakdown of family structures as a result of 2 million AIDS deaths.
In her talks Dr. Ogola related the joys and many sorrows of her work with young children at the Cottolengo AIDS Hospice, many of whom had died, not directly from the disease, but from other conditions that had nothing to do with AIDS and which might have been successfully treated with basic health care and nutrition which were often not available to their poor families.
At a United Nations conference on population and development in Cairo, Dr. Ogola described her encounters at Kenyatta General Hospital with women seeking medical help for their children. She said, “a woman in need of an antibiotic for a sick child would have to pay for the syringe, for the needle, and for the antibiotic, otherwise her child would not be treated. However, the same woman seeking contraception could get every variety under the sun at the brand new family planning clinic next to the hospital, completely free of charge, courtesy of Western nations.”
Commenting on her passing, WCF International Secretary Dr. Allan Carlson said in a press release, “Margaret Ogola was a true and important friend of the Natural Family.
“As a wife, mother, and medical doctor, she lived an exemplary life. As a Christian, she inspired us all to greater service. As a writer, she showed remarkable insight into the human soul and underscored the power of love to transform the world. And as a speaker [especially at our World Congress of Families sessions], she was Lincolnesque in her wisdom, brevity, and power.”
Christine Vollmer, a member of the World Congress of Families Management Committee, who visited Dr. Ogola’s hospice for HIV-positive orphans in Nairobi, reported, “The beauty and order in this hospital and the happy little faces was very striking. Margaret’s care for these children was giving them a survival rate unparalleled, I believe, anywhere. Her motherly love and her extraordinary medical excellence, combined with her vocation to defend every single life were quite overwhelming. What a beautiful woman! The Lord be praised for raising up such wonderful pro-life people!”
Dr. J.C. Willke, President of the International Right to Life Federation, said, “Dr. Margaret has served as our International Right to Life delegate from Africa for almost two decades. She was a committed pro-life leader who worked ceaselessly to protect unborn African babies. Her untimely death removes from the world stage a gifted and hard working leader. She will be difficult to replace,” Dr. Willke said.
Dr. Margaret Ogola was a member of the Catholic association Opus Dei in Kenya. Her funeral Mass was held at Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi Thursday. She is survived by her husband Dr. George Ogola and six children.