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Two more medics lose battle as Covid sends shock waves

By Derek Otieno
Monday, November 23rd, 2020
The late Dr. Anthony Were. Photo/PD/Courtesy
In summary

The late Dr Antony Jude Were Amolo can aptly be described as a true gent or a gentleman’s gent.

A common friend Dickens Magajo called to pass the message early Saturday.

“Your friend Daktari is dead. He died last night. The family is still in shock. Please help pass this message to the public.

They are affected and would like some peace and time to mourn at this particular moment,” said Magajo, a close friend to the family. 

Dr Were previously served as a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi, consultant physician and nephrologist. 

The medic was also the President of the African Association of Nephrology and deputy director of the East African Kidney Institute.

He is reported to have succumbed to coronavirus while undergoing treatment at a city hospital, where he had been re-admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

As the news of his demise spread on, there were few words to describe a counsel, a doctor and a man whose presence in a social event was candour and genuine.

Prevention aspect

Smart, friendly and open. A rare talent and professional, many had high regards.

Two months before he met his death, the gent in ‘Daktari’ as most of his friends in the social bubble referred to him, painfully narrated the state of the Covid-19 in the country, even as he talked about the lengths the medical fraternity was going to contain the situation.

“People have to be careful and extra vigilant at all times. I am speaking from a position of knowledge. What I know is that the situation is bad at the moment. We are talking about a second wave. It is going to be disastrous and we should all prepare for the worst. But, the best cure at this time is the prevention aspect which is low-priced,” said Were during a talk on the virus situation.

Apart from political talk, which was also another topic he lightly indulged in, he offered more to the teaching profession. The  Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU), eulogised  him as a mentor and teacher to many.

“KMPDU mourns the loss of eminent nephrologist Prof Were who has succumbed to Covid-19 complications,” the Union said on Twitter.

KMPDU Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda eulogised him as “a teacher, mentor and leader in nephrology” adding that his ultimate reward “lies with the Almighty”.

“14 days ago you asked us to pray for you, as you got re-admitted to ICU due to Covid-19 complications. We wake up to the heartbreaking and devastating news of your demise,” he said. 

Not much was known about the underlying issues that might have led to his hospitalisation and eventual demise. 

On the same day, Dr Nira Patel also died from Covid-19-related complications. She was not just a dentist, but an expert in her field as the KMPDU eulogised her for service and dedication to the profession. 

Her family was too traumatised to talk to the People Daily yesterday. Efforts to reach her relatives were fruitless.

“We mourn the passing on of Dr Patel due to Covid-19-relatedcomplications,” the union said. 

A dental surgeon specialised in orthodontics, a mentor to many and was recently bestowed with the life membership of the Kenya Dental Association.Condolences to the family and friends. May her soul rest in peace,” reads a message from the union.

The deaths of the two doctors have raised the number of specialists who have died from the virus to 12, even as the union called for a strike in relation to the welfare of the professionals in the frontline in the war against Covid-19.

Besides the provision of adequate PPEs, the union wants medics to be given a substantive risk allowance and a comprehensive medical allowance that would cater for the doctors’ treatment especially those who contract the virus while in the line of duty.