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First doctor to die of Covid-19 in Kenya was diabetic – family

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The first doctor to die in Kenya of Covid-19 was diabetic but had not known about it until she was admitted to hospital last Monday, her family has said.

The family of Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki, 38, said she was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) after being admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital at 10pm.

They eulogised her as a great person. She is survived by widower Kituku Kinyae, whom she wedded in 2007, and two twin daughters Kyla Ndinda and Kyle Kimilu.

“My mother has saved people’s lives ever since I was born. So the fact that hers was taken away by Covid-19 leaves me in a faze,” the girls wrote.

Dr Lugaliki is to be buried on Monday in Bungoma in an event to be attended by 15 people from the family in line with the government’s directives.

“You were to wear a beautiful white gown, rest at Lee Funeral Home, and have your makeup excellently done. We were to be in no hurry to bury you,” her sister Carol said.

“We were to take at least 10 days before we laid you to rest. We were to mourn you the Maragoli Style, complete with Isukuti …to dance to reggae and preferably get some nice mix from DJ Mo. That is how you were to exit. Not like this. I am sorry Ady.”

DKA occurs when the body starts breaking down fat at a faster rate. The liver processes the fat into fuel called ketones that causes the blood to become acidic, thereby putting the life of a patient at risk.

Lugaliki’s family said her condition deteriorated after she tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

“She was transferred to the ICU,”  they wrote.

“She succumbed to complications arising from Covid-19 on July 10, 2020, early in the morning.”

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union said Lugaliki contracted the virus from a colleague who had contracted it from a patient.

“Doctor Adisa was jovial, hardworking and a team player who contracted the virus in the line of duty,” secretary-general Chibanzi Mwachonda said.

Lugaliki started her career at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital immediately after her undergraduate studies. She later worked at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital as a gynaecologist consultant.

“Until her demise, she worked at The Nairobi South Hospital. Her pride and joy was helping mothers safely bring forth life,” the family said.

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