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Fly540 says bleeding woman died while waiting for a doctor

Fly540 has said it did all it could for a woman who died at JKIA last Saturday. The airline says the Kenyan woman, identified as Mary Wanjiku Kamau, died while waiting for the airport doctor to show up.

The death of the woman in circumstances similar to that of Ebola or Marburg virus sparked panic at the airport.

A Fly540 Dash 8 at Nairobi's Wilson Airport.

A Fly540 Dash 8 at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.

Ms Wanjiku arrived Saturday evening on a Fly540 flight from Juba, South Sudan. She reportedly had fever and heavy bleeding. The Ministry of Health later released a statement saying the woman had not died of Ebola or Marbug virus and that the bleeding was caused by a “gynaecological condition.”

Fly540 has come under heavy criticism for carrying someone that had obvious symptoms of illness, at a time when there is fear that Ebola and Marburg viruses could be spread by airlines.

According to sources in Fly540, Ms Wanjiku presented herself at Juba International Airport on 10 October 2014. She had a Fly540 ticket for travel to Nairobi. On approaching the check-in counter, she appeared lethargic and was walking very slowly. After discussions between ground staff and the aircraft’s captain, Ms Wanjiku was denied boarding and advised to seek medical clearance of fitness to travel.

The next day, 11 October 2014, Ms Wanjiku showed up again at Juba Airport. She had a doctor’s letter confirming fitness to travel and another stating prior arrangement for admission for treatment at Nairobi Hospital. When questioned on the nature of her illness, she responded that she was suffering from fever, headache and very heavy monthly periods. She was allowed to board the aircraft.

The flight arrived at Nairobi’s JKIA at 5.40 pm. Ms Wanjiku was the last to leave the aircraft. She was escorted to the Immigration Control point where she and the staff with her were advised to go to the Nursing Office. The nurse on duty decided that Ms Wanjiku needed to see the airport doctor but the doctor was not available. The doctor arrived a few minutes to 8 pm.

The patient died as she sat on a wheelchair.

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