The provision of health services in most referral and public hospitals remain paralyzed. This is as nurses and clinical officers make good their threat. Health services in Kitui County however remain undisrupted despite the ongoing national strike by nurses and clinical officers.
The health workers in Kitui County say their issues are well sorted out by the county government. With their health sorted out they say they have no reason to join in the strike.
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Speaking on the matter, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu said that they have looked into the welfare of health personnel. Ngilu says that through the Kitui County Textile Centre (KIKOTEC) program, they have been able to produce enough PPE’s and facemasks, and other clinical items. Governor Ngilu says the initiative has looked into the health of the health workers. Nurses and clinical officers have decried the lack of quality PPE’s and face masks. The program also earns revenue for the county government.
“Our health officers are actually the ones helping us in making these items for fighting against Corona Virus. This also earns us on-source revenue since we are not buying them like before,” says Ngilu.
The nurses and clinical officers enter the second day of their strike. The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has maintained that their members will remain off-duty. This is until their demands are fully met.
KMPDU calls off strike: Health services undisrupted
Meanwhile, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentistry Union (KMPDU) has called off their strike. This comes after hours of meeting on Monday evening. KMPDU Secretary-General Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda said that they gave the government 14 days to address their issues lest the strike resumes.
“The union acknowledges the efforts of the two houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) to resolve the grievances raised in the strike notice dated 16th November 2020. We acknowledge the goodwill of the Kenyan doctors and the public,” said Dr. Mwachonda.
Some of the demands made by health workers include the provision of health insurance and quality PPEs. There is also demand for isolation and treatment centers for health workers.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has urged the government to embrace dialogue to end the crisis in the health sector.
“People have died, they have lost lives. I urge the government to be more keen on this issue of doctors. They should embrace dialogue and solve the problem. We are heading Christmas and doctors have yet to be paid and working conditions still not right. So we ask the government to sit with them and agree,” says Solomon Chelang the NCCK chairman Uasin-Gishu county.
So far the country has lost 13 doctors and 27 nurses to Corona Virus. The latest case being that of Stephen Mogusu aged 28 years. The young doctor is said to have not received his salary for the last 5 months. He was also not on the medical cover.