Tanzania Health minister orders suspension of medical expert over strange disease report

Sunday February 07 2021
chunya pic

Health minister Dorothy Gwajika.

By Louis Kalumbia
By Hawa Mathias

Dar/Mbeya. Health minister Dorothy Gwajika on Sunday, February 07, 2021, ordered relevant authorities to suspend Chunya District Chief Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Felista Kisandu for issuing a statement on an alleged epidemic in contravention with the law.

On Saturday, Dr Kisandu concurred with some sentiments by some politicians in the district who alleged that there had been an emergence of a strange disease that had so far killed 10 people after vomiting blood in the area.

It all started during a full council meeting when Ifumbo councillor Weston Mpyila wanted to know whether the government was aware of the emergence of the disease and the steps it was taking to control it.

The Council deputy chairman, who led the meeting, said the authorities were aware of the emergence of the disease and already medics were in the ward to ascertain the impact of the disease, whose solution was still being worked upon.

Dr Kisandu is reported to have admitted about the emergence of the disease and said a team of medical experts had already started investigating the disease and specimen had been collected for further probe.

Ms Kisandu said most affected by the disease were male patients, who were diagnosed with liver and ulcer complications and that the regional authorities promised to conduct a study on the disease so that to know its cause.


But in a twist to the matter, Dr Gwajima on Sunday said in line with the Public Health Act of 2009, announcing the emergence of an epidemic was the prerogative of the Health minister who would only do so after getting complete information on the subject matter.

“For creating unnecessary panic among residents, I order Dr Felista Kisandu’s employer to suspend her in order to pave way for investigations by the Medical Council and submit the report to me within ten days,” said Dr Gwijima.

In her statement, Dr Gwajima refuted the presence of an epidemic in Chunya and called upon relevant authorities and mass media companies to remain professional in their information gathering and dissemination task.