TAITA TAVETA, KENYA, May 11- Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has reassured nurses across the country of his support urging Kenyans to recognize all the efforts made towards boosting the health sector.
Speaking during the International Nurses Week Celebrations held in Taita Taveta, the governor said nurses contribute greatly to the country and at no time should their issues go unaddressed.
“I respect nurses very much and I am always astonished when I see people not recognizing the difficult service that nurses undertake,” he said.
“It is important that citizens recognize the sacrifice and conditions our workers have to endure in their quest for efficient service delivery,“ he added.
The governor also said one of his ambitions is to address the welfare of nurses as he contests for the 2022 elections.
“In 2022, I will be contesting to be the 5th president of Kenya so that nurses and other workers can get the recognition, rights and respect they deserve,” he said.
He was in company of Taita Taveta Deputy governor Majala Mlagui during the celebrations with senior nurses.
“I thank the great people of the beautiful county of Taita Taveta led by their Deputy Governor Majala Mlagui, who represented my brother Governor Granton Samboja in welcoming me,” he said.
His sentiments come weeks after the national and county governments indicated plans to hire nurses on contract which nurses rejected as a result of likely loss of benefits and the effects the policy will have on Universal Health Coverage.
This saw Nurses in Homabay County and their unions take to the streets to protest the new policy by the Council of Governors.
The National Nurses Association of Kenya, Kenya Progressive Nurses Association and the Kenya National Union of Nurses early this month told the Council of Governors to suspend any plans for contract employment.
The nurses in turn wanted the governments to stick to the permanent and pensionable basis of employment.
This led to the Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata assuring the nurses that the county government was ready to have talks with them on employment matters.
The county had earlier indicated that there were 140 openings for medical workers who were to be employed on contract.