Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
PROMINENT Bulawayo medical doctor and National University of Science and Technology (Nust) lecturer Muriel Fallala died yesterday after she lost control of her vehicle near Ascot race course while driving to the city’s centre to attend to a critical patient.
She lost control of her Mitsubishi SUV while driving along 12th Avenue extension.
The vehicle veered off the road, overturned and hit a precast wall at Old Miltonians Club.
A specialist family practitioner, Dr Fallala died on the spot while rushing to save another life at about 3PM.
Dr Fallala, lauded by her colleagues for her service to Bulawayo, was alone in the car when the accident occurred.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, scores of motorists had stopped on the side of the road trying to understand how the crash had happened.
Her colleague who rushed to the scene was traumatised by the incident and had to be rushed to a local hospital.
Dr Fallala’s body was taken to a local mortuary by police.
Acting Bulawayo Chief Fire Officer Mr Linos Phiri said Dr Fallala could have been speeding.
“We are told that she was rushing to the city centre to attend to a critical patient at Galen House. She lost control of her vehicle and it rolled and hit a precast wall. She died on the spot,” said Mr Phiri.
Doctors in Bulawayo said Dr Fallala’s sudden death was sad for the medical fraternity and the city considering her immense contributions to the community.
Mpilo acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya could hardly speak as he expressed his devastation following her death.
“For me it’s a personal loss, I’ve known Dr Fallala for a long time. This afternoon at 1.30PM we were together at the Royal Clinic. She had come there to see a patient and we were talking medicine and all that little did I know that she was coming to say goodbye. I’m really devastated. She is someone who had done so much for the community, for the people of Bulawayo and people of Zimbabwe. She worked tirelessly over the years to provide emergency services and deliver so many babies safely. She was still young and strong, this is a sad day for me,” said Prof Ngwenya,
Dr Fallala was a Medical and Dental Council of Zimbabwe councillor and an administrator at Galen House.
Zimbabwe Medical Association president Dr Francis Chiwora said Dr Fallala was a dedicated cadre who did not just treat patients, but also imparted knowledge to up-and-coming doctors.
“She was a senior medical practitioner and also a senior lecturer at Nust. She had worked in Bulawayo for over 30 years. She was a very dedicated medical practitioner. We are shocked to hear about her passing on. We have lost a dedicated cadre to our profession. She was general practitioner, a family practitioner based at Galen House,” said Dr Chiwora.
“She had also specialised on what is called specialist family practitioner which is a new specialist field which started being practised in the country in the last four to six years. She was one of the few practitioners who had qualified as a specialist family practitioner. She immediately embarked on training others to join the specialist field.”
Nust communication and marketing director Mr Thabani Mpofu said Dr Fallala’s death is not just a loss to her family but the nation at large.
“The Nust community is in shock and at a loss for words over the passing away of Dr Muriel Selma Fallala in a car accident this afternoon. Dr Fallala, a Specialist Family Physician, was the Co-ordinator of the Masters in Family Medicine programme under the Department of Community Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. She joined Nust three years ago at a time when the Faculty of Medicine was introducing new specialised postgraduate degree programmes,” said Mr Mpofu.
“She brought vast experience and expertise gained from her long-service in the medical field. Many know her as one of the leading doctors at the Galen House Emergency Clinic. Her death is a huge blow to Nust and the nation at large.
We have lost an experienced medical doctor, academic and administrator. We mourn with the Fallala family during these difficult times.”
Dr Fallala trained at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Second Medical University in Moscow, Russia.
She was the past president of the College of Primary Care Physicians Zimbabwe and was a member of the World Organization of Family Doctors. — @nqotshili