Dr Lugaliki, who died of Covid-19, laid to rest amid tears

Thirty-nine-year-old mother of two described as selfless hero who contracted virus while in line of duty

In Summary

•Medical fraternity joined a few residents and family membersbade farewell to dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki who worked at Nairobi South Hospital. 

•The medics who attended the burial eulogised the mother of two us a selfless hero who died after contracting corona while in the line of duty.


Burial of Dr Doreen Lugaliki’s in Tongaren Bungoma county on Monday July 13, 2020.
Burial of Dr Doreen Lugaliki’s in Tongaren Bungoma county on Monday July 13, 2020.

The first Kenyan doctor to die of Covid-19 was buried on Monday in Tongaren, Bungoma county.

Two nurses also have died of Covid-19, bringing the toll of healthcare workers to three.

Thirty-nine-year-old Doreen Adisa Lugaliki, the mother of two, had worked at Nairobi South Hospital caring for Covid-19 patients.

In a brief, emotional ceremony, she was described as a selfless hero who contracted Covid-19 while in the line of duty.

The medical fraternity joined a handful of residents and family members to bid her farewell.

Dr Lugaliki had been admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital on Monday, July 5, and was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication that occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin.

A diabetic, she died on July 10.

Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda, the secretary General of KMPDU, the umbrella medical union, said it was a dark Monday for the medical fraternity.

Burial of Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki in Tongaren, Bungoma county, on Monday, July 13, 2020.
Burial of Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki in Tongaren, Bungoma county, on Monday, July 13, 2020.

"On behalf of doctors our hearts are very heavy for losing our colleague and this is a battle to us, not a war of guns as it's an invisible war," he said.

"This has brought to light what devastation the pandemic has caused us as a nation and we are appealing to everyone to take this pandemic seriously," he added.

Mwachonda said all doctors across the country in their workplaces are on Monday were taking pictures in black gear and posting them in solidarity with the fallen "soldier".

He said it is time for the state to invest and put more measures in place to help healthcare workers, especially those on the frontline in the battle against Covid-19.

He reminded the gathering that President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that authorities put in place welfare insurance, group compensation and pay that will help fight the pandemic among doctors.

"We all know that Covid-19 is affecting many organs in the body like the brain, heart and abdominal system. That means even those who have recovered might develop complications, hence the need for seriousness in handling the pandemic.

"We also send our condolences to the family and we regret losing such a dedicated health worker to the pandemic," he said.

Medics need to ensure they use protective equipment correctly and consistently, he said.

Dr Antony Akoto, chairman of KMPDU Western region, called on the state to protect medics.

"Adisa will forever remain  hero for her bravery, dying in the line of duty
 he said.

The leaders at Ndalu Friends church where Adisa's family worships said that they were proud of her achievements.

Grace Lugaliki, Adisa's mother, eulogised her as a strong brilliant woman.

After  her own retirement, she used to depend on her daughter, she said.

"We as a family will greatly miss the laughter our daughter created and the united she always brought to the family," her mother said, weeping.

(Edited by V. Graham)