Who Is Controversial Missionary Renee Bach?

Witnesses said she looked like a doctor — she wore a stethoscope around her neck while clad in a white lab coat — and performed tasks that a medical professional would. But this woman, Renee Bach, had no medical training and was in fact a homeschooled American missionary who ran a clinic in Jinja, Uganda that is alleged to have killed more than 100 babies, according to the Daily Mail. The allegations emerged via a 2019 lawsuit in Uganda. Bach ran Serving His Children, a "malnutrition rehab center" located in her home.

In a 2019 interview with Fox News, she said she staffed the facility with Ugandan "medical professionals." "I have never represented myself as a medical professional or health worker of any type," she said. "I have assisted our medical team in emergency settings and in crisis situations but I have never practiced medicine ... or put on any sort of a uniform or white coat for that matter."

Plain Jane

Renee Bach is from Bedford, Virginia. In an interview with The New Yorker, she said she was "a super plain-Jane, straight-up white girl" who "wanted to get married and have five kids" until she decided to go to Uganda as a missionary. She first visited the African nation in 2007 just after graduating from high school. Then in 2009, at the age of 19, she returned and set up her clinic — called by God, she said — to help Ugandan children. "This sounds like such a white-savior thing to say, but I wanted to try to meet a need that wasn't being met," she told The New Yorker.

Her observation may have been apt — HBO's new three-part documentary on Bach's story is called "Savior Complex," and her critics have accused her of acting on this, with devastating results. In a 2019 NPR report, witnesses said Bach performed medical procedures like giving blood transfusions and was caring for children who had diseases like HIV and pneumonia who should have been in an actual hospital — not a malnutrition clinic.

Where is she now?

In the summer of 2020, Renee Bach and her clinic settled the 2019 Ugandan lawsuit by paying $9,500 to each of the two mothers whose children had died while under her care — without admitting liability, per NPR. Her attorney, Primah Kwagala, told the outlet Bach also apologized to the two mothers and promised she wouldn't be coming back to Uganda or be involved in "medical practice in the country." The clinic is no longer running.

Bach, now 34, moved back to Bedford, Virginia in 2019 and is raising two children, including one she adopted from Uganda when the girl was brought into her clinic for care. Four families filed a second lawsuit in Uganda, which is still pending, although Bach's attorney, David Gibbs, claims they were unaware of such litigation, per Insider. Bach has never been charged with any crimes. "I feel like I've taken the hit for every single White person in Uganda," she said in the HBO documentary (via People). "I did not kill children."