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Twin Cities doctor dies from COVID-19

An online fundraiser aims to help return his body to Tanzania for burial.

A Twin Cities medical specialist who "had a passion and zeal for life that was infectious" died recently after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the facility for which he worked. 

Dr. Albasha Hume, a program manager of speciality services at Open Cities Health Center in St. Paul, died June 14, approximately one month after being diagnosed with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

"His passion for community and public health fueled his work and desire to help others," OCHC said in a Facebook tribute to Hume. "He served as the Men’s Health Director and, along with his work as a MNSure Navigator, directly impacted countless lives. His dedication and commitment left a lasting impact, especially in the African community where he was a shining light of hope and inspiration."

Hume's colleagues told KARE 11 that he began feeling ill on May 12, and within days he was hospitalized and on a ventilator. 

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"Those lucky enough to know him or even meet him for a brief moment, can say that his laughter was infectious, his demeanor always welcoming and his charisma unparalleled," OCHC said. 

"He had an unforgettable smile and vibrant youthful appearance. We’d often ask him what his secret was. He’d just smile and say 'have a banana' [SIC]. Al had a joyful spirit and often spoke about his family and homeland, Tanzania."

An online fundraiser is seeking to generate up to $40,000 to help make his wish of being buried in Tanzania a reality. To donate, click here

Open Cities Health Center, located at 409 N. Dunlap St. in St. Paul, provides medical, dental, behavioral health, chiropractic, optometry, nutritional services, podiatry and outreach services. 

It also provides free drive-through COVID-19 testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

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