Three Kenyan healthcare workers who specialised in childhood cancer were killed in Sunday’s air disaster in Ethiopia, it has emerged.
Jayne Kamau, Bella Jaboma and Dr Grace Kariuki were among 157 passengers who died when the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed within minutes of take-off from Addis Ababa.
The cancer specialists were returning from a medical conference in Cairo, the International Society of Paediatric Oncology revealed.
Tributes were paid to the three victims from across the world of medicine as colleagues mourned a ‘great loss’.
Ms Jaboma was presenting her research on childhood cancer at the conference, her brother Allan said on a fundraising page.
Describing her as a ‘selfless daughter, sister and friend’, he said she had hosted parties which would ‘bring joy to young cancer patients’.
Dr Kariuki’s colleagues at Kenya’s disease control agency said they were ‘deeply saddened by her death’, saying she was ‘passionate’ about her field’.
The oncology society said: ‘[We] would like to offer our heartfelt condolences and solidarity to the friends we have lost, their families, their work colleagues and the children with cancer for whom they cared so well, all of whom are now bereft.
‘We offer our sympathies too to the families of all those who have lost a loved one and all those affected by this terrible accident. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.’
The American Childhood Cancer Organization said the three experts’ death was a ‘huge loss’.
‘ACCO joins the international childhood cancer community to mourn the loss of three Kenyan colleagues,’ they said in a statement.