The National Union of Doctors of Angola (SINMEA) has marked for Saturday a march that will end a seven-day period of mourning, begun on Monday, over the death of a doctor in a police station in Luanda.
Dr Silvio Dala, from the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital, died in circumstances still to be clarified when he was taken to a police station by the police, for allegedly not wearing a face mask on public roads.
In a press release, SINMEA appealed to all national and foreign doctors in public or private hospitals in Luanda, as well as to those in management positions and retired colleagues to observe the mourning and participate in the march.
The Angolan Ministry of Health appealed to the calm of the medical community and expressed its “deepest consternation” at 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 1 September, “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 government institutions, 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.
The document stated that after going to the police station of Catotes, in Rocha Pinto, the doctor was told about the methods of payment of the fine and not having an ATM terminal in the surroundings, called a close relative to proceed with the payment.
The note said that “minutes later, the doctor showed signs of fatigue and began to faint, apparently falling, which caused minor injuries to the head.
“Due to his serious condition, he was taken to the Hospital do Prenda but died on the way”, the ministry said, 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, saying that after the fall the doctor was allegedly kept in a cell and was found dead hours later.
A source from the Ministry of the Interior said that the autopsy concluded that the doctor was not the target of any aggression.
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