Tuesday, 19 April 2016


The detained Medical Doctor over the medical crisis in Kumba, South West of Cameroon says he miraculously escaped death.

Dr Jerry Etabong Esua who is detained and accused of ‘malpractice’ by the state and negligence by some of his patients is also threatening court action for illegal detention.

The crisis revolves around the death of a four day old premature baby April 10, 2016 at Hope Parma Hospital, and further raises the question about health care service delivery in Cameroon and the safety of medical practitioners. His colleagues of an Association of Medical Practitioners, MedCamer, are giving him their full support.

Read on for  full interview …

MedCamer (MC): We know and understand what you are going through. How are you?
Dr Jerry Esua(JE) : I am physically fine with some headache due to the punches I have received on my head. I am morally down and angry.

MC: Can you tell us what happened to you?
JE : I was attacked by the father of the premature baby who died in our hospital. He assaulted me and punched me on the head. I just protected my eyes and my face from the blows. People came to rescue me. I was the one who called the police because this man was breaking everything he could see in the Hospital.

MC: Is the hospital a public or private facility?
Dr JE:  It is a private Hospital with a 150 bed capacity, 4 surgery rooms and many others equipment.

MC: Was the arrest for your own protection?
JE: No. Because the parents did not think of reporting the case to any authority. They were out to do jungle justice on me and the facility. I was the one  who instead called the rapid intervention unit of the police to stop him from vandalizing and assaulting. Then the Senior state council (in Kumba) ordered the Commissioner to detain me for malpractice.

MC: Is there a complaint filed against you?
JE: Yes. I am accused and charged for involuntary manslaughter, carelessness and negligence.

MC: Were you detained in a cell at the police station? In a jail?
JE: At the police station.

MC: Who took you there?
JE: When I called the police to stop the act of vandalism, we were all taken to the police station. They took our statements and decided to lock me up.

MC: How long have you been detained?
JE:  I have spent 38 hrs in detention.

MC: Under what conditions was the arrest made?
JE: I was carried in the police van and the father or the deceased baby was driving his Mercedes car behind.

MC: Can you tell us about your conditions while there?
JE: I was left to stand there and it was only thanks to the police officer on duty that I was allowed to sit on a chair in front of the cell until dawn. I remained there until 06 :00 pm when I was taken to the legal department of the Kumba High Court.

MC : Did you receive any visits? Was anyone allowed to visit you?
JE: I was visited by so many people. My coworkers, family members, patients, colleagues and friends and even passersby who heard of the event.

MC: Is there anything that you need?
JE: The first thing I need is moral support. I also need some financial assistance to follow up the case. I will also file a case against the boy for assault and vandalism. I will file a case against the state council for illegal detention and illegally breaking into medical secrecy. They destroyed my image and reputation and I want justice for that.

Interview conducted by VKN, for,the President and the Association of Medical practitioners in Cameroon, MEDCAMER, Dr Etienne NDZIE ATANGANA on April 12 2016. 

PS: Investigations are still ongoing to fully establish the responsibility of the hospital and management and the patients vis-a-vis what transpired, especially how the premature baby died!  More soon ! 

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