The Kenya National Union of Nurses and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers have on Monday, December 7, downed their tools citing poor working conditions.
The healthcare workers identified lack of PPEs, unpaid allowances and limited insurance cover support in case of Covid-19 infection as some of the reasons that prompted the strike.
Nurses union Secretary-General Seth Panyako told KTN News that 26 nurses had succumbed to Covid-19 and that the strike would be called off only when their demands are met.Medics receive flowers under the Flowers for Hope initiative.KBC
A statement issued by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers on Wednesday, December 2, revealed that
10 Clinical Officers had succumbed to the disease.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization, healthcare workers should be provided at the minimum with an N95 mask, face shield or goggles and PPEs all of which according to the two unions have not been provided for therefore increasing the risk of infection for them.
The nurses also argued that doctors are paid way more than them, yet they do the same work and are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 as they interact more with patients.
This comes at a time when positive cases continue to rise significantly with 396 positive cases and 8 deaths confirmed on Wednesday, December 6, bringing the total number of cases to 88,380.
The nurses claim they have not been given enough risk allowances and that their families are not compensated in the case of death.
The two unions are also accusing the government of focusing on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and not on their plight.
The union bosses stated that all unionized nurses will be on strike while those serving on contracts will continue to offer services to Kenyans.
This means that until a deal between the two unions and the government is met, Kenyans will continue to suffer as many cannot afford healthcare in private hospitals.Nurses protest outside Afya House in Nairobi during a nationwide strike on September 11, 2017.Daily Nation
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