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Fallen nurse awarded Head of State Commendation

18 January 2016, 11:51 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - A nurse who went into a coma while on an Ebola eradication mission in Sierra Leone last year was awarded her Head of State Commendation during her burial ceremony in Luanda, Vihiga County on Saturday.

Edith Dorothy Ong'onda was awarded for her bravery in going to the Ebola-torn State to help salvage the situation.

Her family said it had no ill blood with anyone or the government for her death and that they had accepted her utter devotion to saving mankind.

"She was a lovely daughter who wanted the best out of everyone. When she told us that she had already prepared all the necessary documents and was heading to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, no one could stop her," eulogised Japheth Ong'onda, her father.

Nurses' Union Secretary General, Seth Panyako said the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) should help offset the hospital bill accumulated as she was comprehensively covered.

Read Also: New Ebola case emerges in Sierra Leone

"We should not be hearing anything here about a hospital bill yet the one involved sacrificed her well-being for that of others. Let the NHIF solve the issue," said Panyako.

The family had complained that the hospital bill accumulated since the time Dorothy was transported from Sierra Leone while in a coma in July last year was too much for them to pay.

She contracted meningitis while helping fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, which led to her death on January 3, 2016.

The father said that after five months in West Africa, Dorothy began complaining about headaches and fever and was admitted to a hospital in Sierra Leone where she was diagnosed with meningitis.

"Her condition worsened in May, the time the other health workers she traveled with came back and she was retained at the hospital after she went into a coma," he said.

He narrated that she was airlifted to the country in July 20 last year and admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit for about three weeks.

In a condolence message from the health permanent secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri which was presented to the family by Elizabeth Mugambi, the government appreciated the selfless efforts that Dorothy exemplified.

"When the chance to go to Sierra Leone and help fight Ebola arose, she did not hesitate to apply," the statement read in part.

Her team members who had travelled with her to Sierra Leone eulogised her as a lovely person.

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