In Summary
  • At the weekend, the two specialists posted to Lamu and Tana River left in a huff as the government evacuated medics attached to Wajir and Garissa counties.
  • "It's true. The two Cuban doctors travelled out of Lamu abruptly over the weekend,” Lamu Health Executive Anne Gathoni told the Nation on Monday.
  • “The Mandera incident is really traumatising them and that's why they are seeking guidance and counselling. It's a matter under discussion on whether they will return to Lamu or not bearing in mind that our county also borders Somalia.”
  • The two, Dr Liliana Casos, an orthopaedic surgeon and Dr Denis Orozco, a family physician, were deployed to Lamu in July, 2018.

Cuban doctors posted to counties bordering Somalia are leaving their stations in fear after their colleagues were kidnapped in Mandera and taken to Somalia.

At the weekend, the two specialists posted to Lamu and Tana River left in a huff as the government evacuated medics attached to Wajir and Garissa counties.

TANA RIVER

"It's true. The two Cuban doctors travelled out of Lamu abruptly over the weekend,” Lamu Health Executive Anne Gathoni told the Nation on Monday.

“The Mandera incident is really traumatising them and that's why they are seeking guidance and counselling. It's a matter under discussion on whether they will return to Lamu or not bearing in mind that our county also borders Somalia.”

The two, Dr Liliana Casos, an orthopaedic surgeon and Dr Denis Orozco, a family physician, were deployed to Lamu in July, 2018.

But Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri denied any link between the recall and the Mandera kidnap.

“Our doctors were only recalled for briefing and debrief. It’s a while they have been on the ground. I doubt if it has anything to do with Mandera which is miles away. It’s normal for field officers, including ourselves, to go to Nairobi for consultations from time to time,” said Mr Kanyiri.

Tana River County, which also borders the war-wracked Horn of Africa country, suffered a similar blow on Monday.

cuban doctors

Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha (second right) when he met the Cuban doctors Liliana Casos (third left) and Denis Orozco (right) at King Fahad hospital in November 2018. With them are Health Chief Officer Abubakar Badawy (left) and Mkomani Ward MCA Yahya Ahmed (second left). PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Tana River Deputy County Commissioner Michael Kioni confirmed to the Nation that Dr Oriol Valon Costa, a surgeon, and Dr Madelin Areas Hall, a family doctor, had been recalled to Nairobi.

GARISSA

He said the doctors felt unsafe to stay around.

"It is an order from above and part of security measures the state has taken to ensure all other doctors are safe, since it seems they are becoming a new target," he said.

Mr Kioni, however, said there was no cause for alarm because all security teams in the county were alert.

The health workers in Wajir and Garissa were evacuated following a national security advisory from the capital Nairobi.

Garissa police boss Aaron Morasae disclosed that the team from Garissa left on Saturday morning, and it was not clear when they would resume work.

The departure of the medics is likely to hurt service delivery in the affected counties, with patients expected to travel long distances to access specialised care.

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