An American missionary from central Virginia has been accused in a recent lawsuit of posing as a medical doctor in Uganda, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of children.
Renee Bach, a Bedford native and the founder of Serving His Children (SHC), has denied the claims against her and her lawyer, David Gibbs, of the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL), has described his client’s critics as “reputational terrorists” and has called the charges leveled against her “nonsensical.”
Bach, in the lawsuit, is accused of having pretended to be a doctor who treated hundreds of children without any medical training. Now 35, she founded SHC in 2009, two years after she graduated high school.
She soon established herself in Masese, right outside of Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. Charity, she told the Smith Mountain Eagle in 2014, is “God’s call” on her life.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, Bach said she “can’t rule out the fact that children died, like they do die at any health facility, but it’s still not true to say I killed them.” She added, “These allegations that over 1,000 children died is absolute lies.”
But the lawsuit, brought about by two mothers whose children died while in the care of SHC, tells an entirely different story.
The suit claims the families whose children were in SHC’s care were led to believe Bach had medical training and her home was a medical facility. The Women’s Probono Initiative, which is representing the two mothers, issued a press release claiming Bach commonly wore a white lab coat and stethoscope and was often seen distributing medication and offering medical treatment to children.
“It is unacceptable, narcissistic behavior, for anyone — black or white, rich or poor, missionary or angel — to pass off as a ‘medical practitioner’ when they are not,” the initiative wrote in a statement.
In 2014, it should be noted, SHC had 24 paid staff members and was caring for between 100 and 150 children every year. At the time, the center was reported to have a small medical clinic and an inpatient program capable of servicing 16 children at a time. The average stay for each malnourished child, according to Bach, was four to six weeks.
“Our main goal is, of course, to share the love of Christ, in word and deed,” she said.
SHC was allegedly told by Ugandan officials to shut down its operations in the African country, the lawsuit stated.