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Govt to hire 11,600 health workers

NURSE-PATIENTNAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – A total of 11,600 health workers will be hired in the next financial year, National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich announced on Thursday.

The secretary made the revelation when he presented the Budget Statement to the National Assembly: “I have allocated Sh3.1 billion and Sh522 million for recruitment of 30 community nurses and 10 community health workers respectively per constituency to provide quality health care services to Kenyans,” he said.

An additional Sh1.2 billion, he said, will be used to provide housing for the health workers.

The move however got a lukewarm reception from the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) who termed it a drop in the ocean.

KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako had on Wednesday called for the immediate recruitment of 40,000 nurses.

“Before they [the government] introduced free maternity services in public health facilities, we were short of 80,000 nurses. Now with the free service, our work load has increased by about 40 percent and we are currently only 15,000. We expected more,” Panyako told Capital FM News following the budget reading.

In its bid to provide healthcare for all, the government has set aside Sh200 million for the setting up of health facilities in low income areas.

“We are not just making healthcare services accessible to Kenyans in rural and urban areas, we are also extending this critical service to our brothers and sisters living in slum areas in our major cities and urban areas,” Rotich said.

The Treasury has set aside Sh3 billion to finance the free maternity services and Sh700 million for health centres to meet the pledges President Uhuru Kenyatta made in his Madaraka Day speech.

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In regard to social security, Sh13.4 billion will be used to cater for orphans in 310,000 households 118 elderly persons and 29,400 persons with extreme disability; doubling what was there before.

Albinos have been allocated Sh100 million, Sh356 million has been set aside for urban food subsidies and Sh400 million will be used to finance the education of children like David Owira of the Otonglo fame through the Presidential Secondary School Bursary Scheme.


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