NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 15 – Doctors have issued a three-week strike notice, accusing the government of neglecting them by failing to provide adequate gear in the fight agAinst COVID-19.
Through their Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) the doctors said they will down tools unless their plight is addressed.
“Over the last 8 months KMPDU has continuously engaged all relevant government ministries, parastatals and council of governors, the legislature and followed all relevant channels in employment and labor relations in a bid to address the plight of frontline healthcare workers. The union had put the industrial off the table but now we have been forced to review our options,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, the union’s Secretary-General.
He faulted the government for failing to address their plight, leading to the deaths of at least 30 medical workers.
They include 10 senior specialists’ doctors.
Kenya has so far recorded 1,249 deaths with the number of fatalities in recent days averaging at least 20 cases daily.
While insisting that not even court orders would dampen their resolve to champion for their rights, Mwachonda outlined 7 irreducible minimums that must be addressed by the government.
He cited the slow resolve by the Ministry of Health officials to supply health care workers countrywide with adequate Personal Protective Equipment gears (PPEs).
Mwachonda also took issue with the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Principal Secretary Susan Mochache for ignoring them and failing Kenyans despite numerous pleas by the union to have an audience with them.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta you need to act immediately,” he pleaded.
On his part, the union’s Chairman Samuel Oraro said it was regrettable that the government was reneging on its promise to protect the lives of the medics especially those in the frontline battling the virus.