The death of promising young medic Dr. Muoki Fred Wambua was heartbreaking for his family and colleagues in the profession, who have highlighted the struggles faced by doctors in Kenya.
Promising doctor dies by suicide, union issues demands
In his suicide note to his sister, Dr. Muoki highlighted his desperation as he watched his family struggle, despite his hard-earned medical degree
Dr. Muoki completed his internship at Kagundo Level Four Hospital in Machakos County, and like many of his peers, he struggled for months to secure an employment opportunity.
In his suicide note to his sister, Dr. Muoki highlighted his desperation as he watched his family struggle, despite his hard-earned medical degree.
“Daktari represents the hundreds of our bright brothers and sisters who after toiling for years training to be medics have found themselves either unemployed, under employed or working under precarious contracts that don't offer them similar benefits as their older colleagues,” the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union said in a statement released on January 31.
According to KMPDU, training one medical doctor in Kenya costs between Sh4 million and Sh5 million and takes at least seven years of hard work, including a mandatory 1-year internship.
Despite the presence of more than 9 universities offering medical education in Kenya and Kenyans obtaining medical education from international universities, KMPDU has decried the shortage of doctors in the country, blaming the government for adopting a "train and dump" policy for the last six years.
This shortage has led to overworked and underpaid medics, with patients having to endure long wait times for medical attention, according to KMPDU Secretary General, Dr. Davji Bhimji Atellah.
In response to the death of Dr. Muoki, the union has made several demands and threatened to mobilize their members for a nationwide strike starting on March 5, 2023 if their demands are not met.
These demands include the annual recruitment of doctors by the government, centralized and standardized management of human resources for healthcare, and full implementation of the 2017 CBA.
Editor's Note: Help is available, your life is valuable and you are not alone. Should you be struggling, don't hesitate to reach out to:-
- Befrienders Kenya suicide prevention hotline +254 722 178 177
- Niskize suicide prevention helpline 0900 620 800 or +254 718 227 440.
- Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation's suicide prevention and crisis helpline 0800 723 253 (Free, nationwide service)
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