Ver Angola


Doctors march in memory of colleague who died at police station

The National Union of Doctors of Angola (SINMEA) marked for Saturday a march that will end a period of seven days of mourning, started this Monday, on the death of a doctor in a police station in Luanda.


At stake is the death of doctor Silvio Dala, of the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital, in circumstances still to be clarified, when he was taken to a police station, for allegedly not wearing a face mask on the public road.

In a press release, SINMEA appeals to all national and foreign doctors in public or private hospital units in Luanda, as well as to those in management positions and retired colleagues to observe the mourning and participate in the march.

"Let's rescue the dignity of the doctor, who has long since been lost. We will observe a period of seven days of national mourning, during this period everyone should put on their gowns or clothes a black smoke or wear black, if possible with a black mask," exhorted the union.

The march is scheduled for next Saturday, at 12.30pm, with concentration at the bus stop in Mutamba, from where they will depart in silence to the headquarters of the Angolan Medical Association.

"All dressed in a black shirt with the words 'I am Dr. Dala', a black mask written 'I am Dr. Dala' and with a white coat with several blurs in red, symbolizing the blood spilled by the failed in the damned squad," is reported in the note.

At the point of arrival, the doctors must deposit their gowns and masks, to express the class's discontent.

Finally, the union proposes to the government of the province of Kwanza Norte, that the hospital where the deceased doctor was clinical director be called Hospital Materno Infantil Dr. Sílvio Dala.

The Ministry of Health appealed to the calm of the medical community and expressed its "deepest consternation" over the death of the doctor, clinical director of the Ndalatando Maternal Infant Hospital, who was deployed on a training mission at the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital in Luanda on the night of September 1, "when he was in police custody, in circumstances not yet fully clarified.

The Secretary of State for Public Health, Franco Mufinda, said that he joined other institutions of the executive, including the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of the Interior, which initiated criminal proceedings to clarify the real circumstances in which the death occurred, as well as their accountability.

Franco Mufinda stressed that the Ministry of Health "reiterates its firm commitment to the life and physical, psychological and moral integrity of doctors and all health professionals, especially at this particularly challenging time, when they are in fact the front line in the fight against covid-19," he stressed.

"The Ministry of Health appeals to the medical community and to all actors in the health system for calm and serenity and not to discourage in the noble mission of saving lives, which we are bound by Hippocrates' oath," he said.

For its part, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed the death of the doctor, who was taken by the police to a police station in Luanda because he was supposed to circulate on the public thoroughfare without a face mask, which is mandatory due to covid-19.

The document states that after going to the police station of Catotes, in Rocha Pinto, was explained to the doctor the methods of payment of the fine and not having an ATM terminal in the vicinity, called a close relative to proceed with the payment.

The note states that the doctor "minutes later, showed signs of fatigue and began to faint, having an apparent fall, which caused minor injuries to the head.

"Due to his serious condition, he was rescued at the Hospital do Prenda and ended up perishing on the way", the ministry emphasizes, stressing that the Criminal Investigation Service intervened, removing the body to the morgue at Josina Machel Hospital.

According to the authorities, the family of the deceased confirmed that the doctor suffered from hypertension, but for legal reasons, an autopsy will be performed on the corpse to determine the cause of death.

However, the National Union of Doctors of Angola contradicts the police version, stating that after the fall the doctor was allegedly kept in cell and hours later was found dead.

"Only as soon as they decided to take the deceased to the Hospital do Prenda, where only his irreversible cardiorespiratory arrest was confirmed in the police car," says the union.

A group of colleagues from the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital, where the deceased worked, went to the morgue to see the body and reported that "the colleague presented an incisive wound, like a cut in the occipital region", assuming that "he was subjected to beatings and hard blows that resulted in that wound and abundant bleeding", according to the union.

However, a source from the Ministry of the Interior advanced that the autopsy concluded that the doctor was not the target of any aggression.


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