KNUN accuses MoH of frustrating healthcare workers

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has accused the Ministry of Health (MoH) of allegedly frustrating nurses in the country.

The nurses’ union has claimed the ministry is not sincere in its efforts to end the healthcare workers’ strike.

However, the union expressed its willingness to resume talks with the government to end the ongoing strike.

Addressing the press Saturday afternoon, KNUN Secretary-General Seth Panyako vowed to soldier on with the ongoing strike saying they will not be cowed by threats and intimidation to resume duty.

However, Panyako said union members will not resume duty until their demands are addressed fully.

He claimed that 34 nurses have died of coronavirus related complications.

Nurses in all public health facilities downed their tools protesting the lack of sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) despite their frontline role in the war against COVID-19.

Elsewhere, the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) says it is dissatisfied with the handling of the current health crisis by the health ministry and County Governments.

The union maintains that its members had been working in unsafe environments and were a danger to the patients as well.

In a statement signed by KUCO Secretary-General George Gibore and national chairperson Peterson Wachira, the union officials claimed that the health ministry has been hostile despite their efforts to participate in an inclusive meeting to resolve the stalemate.

KUCO said that it had severally raised alarm over the poor working environment since April this year but the government allegedly failed to act.

” The Union has since April and on different occasions provided advisories and reports about the working environment to the government which has often fallen on deaf ears. It also suspended strikes on two occasions to allow the government take remedial measures without success.” They said

“It is the continued inaction and neglect from the government that has brought us to this unfortunate moment where we’ve had to vacate the working environment in light of the dangers posed to us and our patients, and to allow the government take measures geared at ensuring a safe working environment and improved welfare for health workers.” They added

However, the union has welcomed an invitation back to the tripartite talks aimed at unlocking the stalemate.

Gibore said the communication came from Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

KUCO members down their tools protesting lack of sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) despite their frontline role in the war against COVID-19.

Since March, the Union said, at least 763 Clinical Officers in public and private facilities have been infected by the coronavirus.




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