NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 5 – Unions representing health workers in Kenya have vowed to press on with the planned strike on Monday accusing the government of failing to address their plight.
Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Chairman Peterson Wachira said the government was not serious in addressing concerns raised by health workers on the war against COVID-19.
“Now they are asking us that we can let our vulnerable health professionals to continue dying in the guise of patriotism; that patriotism now has become a suicide attempt for the health workers and we are telling them that we are not ready to commit suicide,” he said.
The threat comes after at least 10 specialised doctors and more than 30 nurses died from the virus since March.
The medics have dismissed as mere rhetoric Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui’s order to the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to release personal protective equipment worth more than Sh3 billion to health workers.
“The press statement by the CS Labour confirmed to Kenyans that the Government has no intention to resolve the loomings strike or a health crisis with the atmost urgency it deserves to safeguard the lives of Kenyans and health workers. We wish to remind him that this is a matter of life and death,” he stated.
Chelugui has urged doctors to suspend the strike set to start on Monday to allow the government address their concerns.
Speaking during press conference where he was flanked by Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, the Labour CS assured the aggrieved medics that their demands will be met.
The medics are advocating for the creation of the Health Service Commission to enhance devolved health services.