DOCTOR ILLEGAL ARREST IN KUMBA:
A few minutes with Dr Jerry Esua in detention.
Two days ago , we learned that one of our colleagues exerting in the town of Kumba had been arrested following the death of a newborn. This incident illustrates the climate of insecurity that prevails for doctors recently. Here is his testimony.
MedCamer (MC) Hi J, we know and understand what you are going through and would like to let you know that we are all fully supporting you. You are not alone but we would like to know more about what happened to you. Can you please enlighten us with your side of the story? We would like to have a few answers from you without violating medical confidentiality of course.
Dr J: Thanks to all of you for the concern. I will sincerely answer all your questions.
MC: How are you?
Dr J: 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?
Dr J: I was attacked by the father of the premature baby who deceased 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 was in a Private Hospital with a 150 beds capacity, 4 surgery rooms and many others.
MC: Was the arrest for your own protection?
Dr J: No. Because the parents did not think of reporting the case to any authority. They were out to do jungle justice to me and the facility. I was the one instead who called the rapid intervention unit of the police to stop him from vandalizing and assaulting. Then the senor state council ordered the commissioner to detain me for malpractice.
MC: Is there a complaint filed against you?
Dr J: Yes. I am accused charged for involuntary manslaughter, carelessness and negligence.
MC: Were you detained in a cell at the police station? In a jail?
Dr J: At the police station.
MC: Who took you there?
Dr J: 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?
Dr J: I have spent 38 hrs in detention.
MC: Under what conditions was the arrest made?
Dr J: 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?
Dr J: 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 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?
Dr J: 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?
Dr J: 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.
MC: Thank you Dr J. keep holding on.
Interview conducted for MEDCAMER by VNK. 2016/04/12