The medical fraternity is mourning the death of Dr Lydia Wahura Kanyoro who committed suicide on Saturday, June 12.
It is emerging that Dr Kanyoro, who was pursuing her masters in pediatrics at the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences, was suffering from depression.
She reportedly injected herself with anesthesia drugs after writing a suicide note and calling some of her relatives to bid them goodbye. The head of security raised alarm when he spotted a body at the back seat of a Mazda Verisa, the deceased’s car, at Kenyatta National Hospital’s (KNH) parking lot.
Police officers from Capitol Hill Police Station recovered three syringes, a vial of Ketamine and midazolam drugs used for inducing anaesthesia and sleepiness, from the car. These are the drugs she is suspected to have used to take her own life.
“She was lying at the back seat and had injected a syringe on her left arm,” policeman said, without revealing the contents of the suicide note which was printed from an email dated June 12, 2021, 9am.
On the fateful day, Dr Kanyoro checked into the lecture hall within KNH at around 9 am and registered for her classes. At around 9:30 am, however, she left and headed for her car.
Dr Kanyoro’s colleagues say that this is just one of the numerous cases of health workers who have committed suicide. This has been attributed to work load, academic demands and poor working conditions.
An autopsy on Dr Kanyoro’s body is set to be conducted today (Tuesday, June 15)..
KMPDU position on Doctor’s mental health
In an exclusive interview with TV47 Digital, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Davji Atellah insisted on the importance of treating doctors as “human beings”.
Atellah revealed that KMPDU is pushing for better working and learning conditions for medical students and doctors. “Some medicine schools make life too hard for students with heavy workloads which can make one easily tick off.”
“As a union, we are working on mental care for our doctors. Some of these institutions that we work for put stringent measures forgetting that we are human. They deny us off days and time to debrief,” he observed.
He said that working conditions must improve and the issue of shortage of doctors dealt with, for the wellbeing of health workers.