22 March 2019

Kenyan Doctor Who Died in Cuba to Be Buried in Mombasa

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The body of a Kenyan doctor who allegedly committed suicide due to frustrations in Cuba has arrived at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

After arrival, the body of Dr Ali Juma was scheduled to be taken to the Coast Provincial General Hospital for a second post-mortem examination.

Family, relatives, friends, politicians and senior officials of the Mombasa County government were Friday morning at the airport to receive the body.

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, who is the doctor's sister, could not contain herself as the body arrived.

POST-MORTEM

The family said Thursday that they were yet to receive a reports on the post-mortem which was done in Cuba.

"Post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death was conducted in Havana. However, as a family we are yet to get the details of the findings; we are still in the dark," said a family member.

"The body of the late Dr Ali Juma arrives in the morning (Friday). Burial [will be] in Shikadabu Likoni after Friday prayers, post-mortem [will be done] at CPGH in the morning. We are doing an independent post-mortem here," said a family source.

Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi, Rabai's William Kamoti were among politicians at the airport who went to receive the body for burial.

County Chief Health Officer Khadija Shikely, Director of Media Services Shem Patta were among senior doctors in Mombasa at the airport.

STUDIES IN CUBA

Dr Juma was undertaking a postgraduate diploma in family medicine in Cuba.

His colleagues, friends and relatives are yet to come to come to terms with the fact that he could have taken his own life.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), led by Deputy Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda, called for immediate termination of the doctors training in Cuba.

But in her tweet, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said she had dispatched a team to Cuba to facilitate the ongoing investigations on the death.

TEAM DISPATCHED

"[I] held a meeting with the Cuban Ambassador to Kenya, Ernesto Gomez Diaz, on the circumstances pertaining to the death of Dr Hamisi Ali Juma in Cuba. I have dispatched a team from the Ministry of Health to facilitate ongoing investigations in Havana," Ms Kariuki said.

In a statement, KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga said that doctors had expressed their frustrations over non-payment of allowances.

Dr Oluga said the Kenyan embassy exhibits high-handedness when concerns are raised.

"It is ironical how Cuban doctors in Kenya receive royal treatment with chauffeured transport and lavish living funded by taxpayers' money," Dr Oluga added.

The union, which says the programme has not benefited the health workers, has recommended that the sponsorship be provided in Kenyan universities.

Governor Hassan Joho is expected at CPGH during the post-mortem examination.

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