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Mombasa journalist with heart problem dies in hospital

Mombasa journalist with heart problem dies in hospital

The Mombasa-based journalist who had been taken to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital’s ICU on Thursday evening has died.

Fatma Rajab, 27, a journalist at Mombasa-based Mo Radio, breathed her last at around noon on Saturday, two days after concerted efforts by fellow journalists and Kadzanani MCA Fatma Kushe to ensure she gets the best possible treatment.

Her family surrounded her at the time of her death.

Fatma, who also worked for Radio Salaam before moving to Mo Radio, had been suffering from rheumatic heart disease, a condition in which the heart valves have been permanently damaged by rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can affect many connective tissues, especially in the heart.

On Friday at around 11 am, Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital resident medical officer in the ICU Hassan Ali said her condition had stabilized and she was set to undergo a valve replacement surgery.

However, he had said it must be done immediately.

Mombasa-based journalists had donated blood to try and save her life as she had required at least seven pints of blood.

Veteran journalist Philip Onyango Ombajo on Saturday around 11 am around had accompanied three other journalists to donate more blood for Fatma.

“The sister had told us to wait and went to take a form to register us. But she took long and when she re-emerged she had tears in her eyes. She conversed with her mother who then started wiping tears,” Ombajo said.

“Then we saw the family moving towards the ICU door. That is when I suspected there was something wrong.” 

Nation Media Group’s Lydia Mkamburi, who was also the link between the family and journalists, said Ombajo called her to enquire what was going on.

“But when I called Swabra, the sister, she was crying. I strongly suspected something had gone wrong. I called Ombajo back and told him to let us pray hard,” Mkamburi said.


Then, Ombajo wrote on one of Mombasa journalists’ WhatsApp groups: “Good people, we are here at Coast General to donate blood but I urge you let’s continue with prayers for our colleague Fatma.”

Twenty minutes after he posted, Radio Salaam’s Yusuf Abu announced the death of Fatma on the same platform.

“Innalilahi wainna ilayhi rajiun. Our sister Fatma Raja has left us,” Abu alias Kijana Cha Vanga (KCV) wrote.

KCV said Fatma had become unresponsive about an hour before she died.

On Friday, KCV said, Fatma had seemed cheerful and upbeat, giving hope of a full recovery to her family, friends, and colleagues.

“We talked with her an hour ago and she was upbeat,” KCV said on Friday mid-morning.

Mo Radio management on Saturday said Fatma was one of the active interns at their station who had a bright future as a journalist.

“Mo Radio is going to assist where necessary,” the management said.

“We say pole to the family. It is a sad day for us. We will see how we are going to help the family.”

Mombasa journalist with heart problem dies in hospital