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Coast civil society urges government’s action amid medical strike

Coast Civil Society Network for Human Rights (CCSNHR) chairperson Zedekiah Adika addressing the media on the effects of the doctors' strike on Mombasa county residents.

Coast Civil Society Network for Human Rights (CCSNHR) has appealed for a call of action from the Government to address the concerns and issues raised by medical practitioners as the strike keeps affecting citizens.

Speaking at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, the Network’s Chairman, Zedekiah Adika said that they are yet to see the official address from the Council of Governors on this matter as health is a devolved issue notwithstanding the challenges they are having with devolution of the entire health segment.

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“The Council of Governors should not be quiet about this matter, they ought to sit down and discuss to find a solution to this challenge because the solution is long overdue. We cannot continue losing lives, we cannot continue seeking health services at very expensive ends where that same fraternity is serving other Kenyans,” Adika said.

That, he noted, is improper and unfair to the poor citizens.

He went on to call on the Senate as it is set to look at the interest of devolution. He emphasized the imperative for the Senate to prioritize the preservation of devolution which is now in jeopardy especially since citizens are unable to access essential services through public facilities.

Adika expressed concern over the apparent lack of engagement from the Senate on this matter noting that it is inconceivable that not a single Senator has deemed it fit to question or advocate for action regarding this issue.

He noted that the inaction undermines the Senate’s role as a critical pillar of oversight and accountability in such a matter of national concern. He urged Senators to rise to the occasion and leverage their authority and influence to address the issue effectively.

He went on to call on the Ministry, highlighting the shortcomings in its responsiveness to the ongoing strike, suggesting that the Ministry’s statements have lacked the prowess to instill confidence among the citizens.

Moreover, he said that there has also been a lack of tangible progress by the Committee established to address the prevailing strike.

“We also want to call on the Clergy to stand up to this matter, we need their voice and we need them to sit down discuss, and even go to the State House to have a lengthy discussion with His Excellency the President,” Adika said

Doris Odhiambo working with the collaboration of women in development that convenes gender and health matters confirmed the dire consequences of the ongoing strike in the region’s medical sector.

Odhiambo said that a significant portion of Mombasa’s Population cannot access essential medical services from public health centers, leading to undue financial strain as individuals resort to private hospitals.

She added that they have so far received two painful death reports, one of which included an infant whose mother had gone to the Coast General for delivery on 28th March and was referred to a private hospital.

The baby was delivered but incurred some complications upon which the mother was referred back to the Coast General Hospital, and due to the lack of medical attention, the infant passed away.

The second case, she said, occurred on April 1st involving a two-and-a-half-year-old child brought to the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The child had developed a fever, prompting intervention by the attending nurses who administered initial first aid. The child was slated for transfer to a private medical facility. However, due to financial constraints, the parents were unable to afford the charges associated with private care. Tragically, the child succumbed to their condition on the same day.

Mercy Muthoni, a parent of a special needs child, expressed her disappointment in commuting a long distance to the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital only to find no doctors to attend to her young child who experiences convulsions.

Haniel Mengistu
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