A depressed post-graduate medical student at the University of Nairobi committed suicide inside her car by injecting herself with anaesthesia-inducing drugs on Saturday afternoon at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) parking lot.

The death of Dr Lydia Wahura Kanyoro brings to the fore the rising cases of depression and personal health problems among medical students and doctors.

Kanyoro, 35, was a postgraduate student in Paediatrics at the UoN’s School of Medicine in KNH is said to have written a suicide note and called some of her relatives to tell them where she was and what she had planned to do, before committing suicide. Police, however, declined to disclose the contents of the note.

The head of security at the School of Medicine, George Onyango, said he spotted the body at the back seat of her car, a Mazda Verisa, within the hospital’s parking lot on Saturday 1pm.

The body was immediately identified and matter reported at Capitol Hill Police Station.

Recovered syringes

Officers visited the scene and recovered three syringes, a vial (small glass) of Ketamine, a drug used in inducing anaesthesia, and midazolam drugs, also used for inducing anaesthesia and sleepiness and to decrease anxiety.

“She was lying in the back seat and had injected a syringe on her left arm. Also found inside the car were vials of Ketamine and midazolam drugs,” police said.

Kilimani police Commander Andrew Muturi yesterday said the drugs had been taken to the Government Chemist for analysis.

“We are also in possession of a printed suicide note believed to have been authored by the deceased which will also be subjected to analysis to establish if it was indeed, among other things, written by the deceased,” the OCPD said.

The deceased left behind a suicide note, printed from an email dated June 12 at 9am that detailed why she decided to commit suicide.

Reports indicate so many medical staff are suffering depression and other mental-related illnesses, a fact that experts have attributed to the tough working conditions among other things.

“Such cases have increased but remain largely under-reported, especially among the Masters students,” a source at KNH told People Daily.