18 March 2019

Kenya: Probe Over Death of Kenyan Doctor in Cuba Ongoing, Patience Urged

Photo: Dennis Onsongo/Daily Nation
Ouma Oluga, Secretary-General of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union, addresses a press conference at the Supreme Court Buildings (file photo).

Mombasa — Investigations into the cause of death of one of the Kenyan doctors who travelled to Cuba for an exchange programme are ongoing.

Dr Hamisi Ali Juma, a brother to Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, was among 50 Kenyan doctors who were sent to Cuba late last year to study family medicine.

On Monday, the family received the shocking news that Dr Juma was dead. He died on Sunday.

Previous reports indicated that the doctors had complained of hard living conditions in Cuba's capital Havana, and despite numerous complaints, the matter was not addressed.

Already, there is speculation over Dr Juma's death.

However, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho have issued a joint press statement asking Kenyans not to speculate.

"The circumstances resulting in the death are not clear yet as investigation by the Cuban authorities are ongoing. As we wait for police report, we urge and request Kenyans to be sensitive to the grieving family and refrain from discussing the case on social or regular media," read part of the statement.

The statement also said the Kenyan Government is working with Juma's family to bring his body back to Kenya.

"We express our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased and provide assurance that plans are underway to transport the body back to Kenya within then shortest time possible. Our Kenyan Embassy in Havana is working closely with the Cuban authorities in handling the case," the two said.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Coast Brach Secretary General, Dr Abidan Mwachi said the Kenyan doctors who travelled to Cuba are complaining of poor living conditions.

"They have been complaining through the union about the living conditions in Cuba. They are sharing houses, take two or three hours to travel to work, but the government has failed to address the issue raised," said Mwachi.

Mwachi described the exchange programme as "dubious."


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