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Quack doctor never studied medicine in the university

Ronald Melly, the 28-year-old quack doctor the Nation exposed on Tuesday, has never  been a student in the  University of Nairobi School of Medicine, records show.

Melly was in court on Tuesday, charged with practising medicine without qualifications and possible forgery of documents.

The university said in a letter to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board that Mr Ronald Kiprotich Melly was “not a registered MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) student and therefore never trained at this institution.”

Kenyans are trying to understand how Mr Melly went on about with his quackery undetected.

At the Meteitei Sub-County Hospital in Nandi County on Tuesday, workers were huddled in small groups discussing in hushed tones how Melly, a man they once knew as their boss, fooled them into believing he was a qualified doctor.

“He was a gentleman with good public relations skills. We were surprised to read in the papers that he is not qualified,” said a medic who sought anonymity.

NOT QUALIFIED

Another medic at the County Referral Hospital in Kapsabet however said he was convinced that Mr Melly was not qualified from the way he conducted himself especially while in theatre.

“I was shocked at the way he conducted himself while in the line of duty. I was once with him in theatre and the way he handled the scalpel made me doubt his qualifications as a medic,” said another medical worker who also sought anonymity.

“We had question marks over his credentials but feared to raise a finger because he seemed to be well-connected with top ministry officials,” he said.

The Nation could not immediately establish the number of patients who Mr Melly served. But sources said he conducted many minor surgeries and caesarean section deliveries.

Mr Richard Lang’at, a chemist near the hospital, said just a week ago, Melly visited his shop in the company of officials from the medical practitioners board.

“I doubted his credentials after he avoided technical questions I had asked him concerning the medical profession,” said Mr Langa’t.

FAST RISE

Mr Melly on Monday told the board and detectives that he had been a student at the University of Nairobi and that he graduated in 2014.

But records at the Ministry of Health shows he graduated in 2013 and that he holds a temporary internship licence that shows he graduated in 2015.

The letter to the board by the Dean of the School of Medicine Prof Fredrick Were was in response to an inquiry on whether or not Mr Melly was a student as he had claimed.

The board launched investigations when Mr Melly presented himself at the medical practitioners board offices seeking permanent registration despite not having been to university, graduated or properly licensed to practise medicine. He was arrested by detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit.

Mr Melly has risen fast through the ranks from a medical intern at the Kendu Methodist Hospital, to the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital where he worked in the maternity and casualty departments before becoming a medical superintendent at Meteitei Sub-County Hospital in Nandi.

The Ministry of Health was until on Tuesday evening trying to trace the first letter Mr Melly presented to them purporting to have come from the University of Nairobi, seeking posting for the mandatory 12-month internship. He did his internship at the Kendu Adventist Hospital.