Striking Kenyan Nurses
Unions representing Nurses and Clinical Officers say the strike that started last week will not be called off unless demands by the healthcare workers are addressed.
The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Chairperson Peterson Wachira said it was “traumatizing and regrettable” that the top leadership in the country and the Ministry of Health have ignored the concerns raised.
The healthcare workers downed tools last week to protest lack of sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) in hospitals. They also want their allowances enhanced.
The Union’s Secretary-General George Gibore faulted the government and specifically proponents of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) for prioritizing political changes in the country over the Health of Kenyans and that of frontline workers
“BBI can be implemented even next year but COVID-19 is killing us, it cannot wait. We are concerned because we are next in line and that is why we are taking this seriously. We cannot continue to lose our healthcare workers and other Kenyans under circumstances that could have been avoided,” said Gibore.
Healthcare workers including clinical officers and nurses strike, entered its 8th day Monday with doctors expected to join them on December 21. The doctors are also protesting lack of adequate and standard Personal Protective Equipment, a comprehensive medical cover and risk allowance.
On December 7, the doctors’ union, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had threatened to mobilize a strike but postponed it following pressure from the government and the National Assembly.
He said if their grievances remain unresolved, the strike will kick off on December 21.
Sophie Wanjiru Mbugua is a Kenyan entertainment writer with a keen interest in the modern e-showbiz.