Home NEWS Local News Mudavadi calls on health workers to end stalemate, engage in meaningful dialogue

Mudavadi calls on health workers to end stalemate, engage in meaningful dialogue

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has challenged health workers to engage the government in dialogue to end the health workers’ strike now in its 5th week.

Mudavadi said the stalemate has led to the closure of the public health system, as health workers demand better pay and employment of medical interns.

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This, he said has affected public healthcare across the country and caused suffering to Kenyans.

“I want to assure the country that we are having logical, constructive and inclusive dialogue and soon we shall amicably resolve the crisis in the health sector. I am urging the health practitioners across the board to reflect and reason together with the government to ease the suffering of our people,” he said.

Mudavadi said the government underlines its commitment to deliver universal health coverage as a key pillar of the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda.

He said that despite the ongoing industrial dispute, the partnership between the government and healthcare workers and professionals should never be downplayed or underestimated.

“Healthcare sector stakeholders should align their priorities and commitments with the government’s healthcare agenda to provide affordable, accessible and quality healthcare services to all Kenyans,” said Mudavadi

“You have a collective responsibility to support the Whole of Government Approach in delivering on your commitment to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for health to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” he added.

He spoke at the 23rd Kenya Paediatric Association annual scientific conference in Mombasa County.

He applauded the conveners of the conference saying it provided an interactive platform for key stakeholders in the healthcare sector to share the latest knowledge and reflect on how data is shaping the delivery of health services, particularly to children.

“Focusing on the well-being of our children validates our moral obligation to provide an enabling environment for them to grow into healthy and productive citizens. Children are our hopes and our future. Every parent, community and country must protect their rights, including their right to quality healthcare,” he said.

Mudavadi, also the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs commended the strides made in the country within the health sector in improving the metrics for the children, particularly in health and education saying access and rights of children to quality health services remains a key government priority.

“Investing in children is the largest commitment in human capital development. Advances in healthcare, education, skills development and nutrition, for our children and our people, enhance their overall well-being and productivity. It enables them to realize their fullest potential and contribute to our economic development,” he said.

“The data you gather through research and share through this forum, as well as through your regular interactive networks, should inform the Government and healthcare sector stakeholders on the priority interventions necessary to improve the people’s access to quality healthcare services,” he added.

Mudavadi noted that a child who receives good health, nutrition, opportunities for early learning, safety and a nurturing environment is set up for success, measured in terms of learning capacity, completion of high school, work productivity and earning potential.

“The health of our children is not just a predictor of increased life expectancy but also a predictor of its contribution to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Investing in our children, therefore, means shaping our future leaders and our country’s workforce,” he said.

“Even though we have made significant strides in health, we cannot accept that our children still suffer from preventable diseases, malnutrition and other ills, particularly in remote rural areas and urban informal settlements. Maternal and child mortality rates remain at unacceptable levels,” added Mudavadi.

The Prime CS underscored that it is imperative that even as the focus shifts to the implementation of healthcare programs, collectively there is a need to exercise responsibility to promote peace and security within societies.

He noted the perennial problem being experienced through the displacement of people, mainly mothers and children, in areas prone to conflict over resources, including grazing land and water, mainly in parts of the North Rift and North-Eastern regions in Kenya.

“These conflicts, though localized, have caused a serious setback to our children’s access to health services. You can also imagine that children who fall sick during periods of conflicts or civil unrest are likely to miss school opportunities,” he regretted.

Mudavadi also pointed out that as much as the world has made considerable recovery from the impact of Covid-19, emerging regional and global conflicts pose an existential threat to the delivery of quality healthcare services.

He gave an example of the conflict in the neighbouring countries, including Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, and Sudan which have disrupted the livelihoods of millions of people.

The civil war in Sudan, for instance, has displaced over eight million people and left 11 million Sudanese in critical need of medical aid. Further, 18 million Sudanese are struggling with acute food insecurity.

“Women and children bear the brunt of these conflicts. In Sudan, 19 million children are out of school. The majority of them have lost access to school due to violence and conflict in their local areas. Others have lost educational opportunities due to complications arising from the war, including the destruction of schools and equipment, military occupation of learning facilities and lack of resources to pay teachers,” he regretted.

Mudavadi appreciated KPA’s long-standing commitment, since its inception in 1968, to advance paediatrics healthcare in the country and the region.

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