A 23-year-old Ugandan woman identified as Zaina Nagani reportedly died at the Dubai International Airport last Thursday, minutes before getting on a plane back to her home country, New Vision reports. According to a Ugandan embassy official in Dubai, Nagani collapsed and died inside Terminal 2 as she boarded a plane to the Central Ugandan town of Entebbe.
She had been working in Saudi Arabia as a house help for two years.
According to her passport, Nagani was born in Namataala, a village in Mbale district.
“We are aware of the deceased and the government is tracing the Ugandan labor export company that sent her to Saudi Arabia. This is to enable repatriation of the body,” the Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uganda, Charles Ssentongo, said in a statement.
Nagani was rushed to Dubai Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Her body is currently in the hospital’s morgue pending repatriation.
A medical discharge form dated October 7th, 2016 that was recovered from her belongings showed that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, according to Watchdog News.
Her parents are now calling on the Ugandan government to assist them in returning her body and arresting the woman who recruited her to work in Saudi Arabia.
Reports of Abuse
In recent years, there have been endless reports of African migrant workers being subjected to abuse and terrible working conditions in the Middle East, prompting many African governments to revoke licenses of local recruitment agencies.
There have also been reports of women being sexually assaulted after being lured to the region by the promise of good-paying domestic jobs.
Last year, a Kenyan woman working in Saudi Arabia reported that she was given a choice to either have sex with her boss or die.
“I felt like I was a prostitute. I used to obey [him] because I wanted to come back to my country safely,” she told Reuters.
Although many African governments have banned their citizens from going to the Middle East, people are still finding their way there driven by the lack of employment opportunities in their home countries.