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Union raises concern over assaults on health workers

KUCO raises concern over assaults on health workers

The Kenya National Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) has raised the red flag over an increase in assault cases targeting health workers across the country.

The union now wants the Senate and the County assemblies to enact a law allowing armed police officers to guard all major health centers in the wake of the attacks.

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This follows an incident at Naivasha sub-county hospital over the weekend where a group of relatives clashed with some medics over the death of a patient.

This came as the union decried the acute shortage of staff at the public hospital and a lapse in its security leading to the clash where some medics were attacked.

During the weekend incident, the family accused the management of the hospital of negligence and for demanding Ksh 10,000 which they didn’t have leading to the death.

According to KUCO national chairman Peterson Wachira, the attack had traumatized the health workers leading to low job morale and fear.

Speaking in Naivasha, Wachira lashed out at the attackers while calling on police to hasten their investigations adding that there was no negligence or cash demand as alleged.

“We shall be writing to the Senate to enact a law for armed police officers to be seconded in major hospitals and to the IG to hasten the prosecution of the main suspect in this case,” he said.

He at the same time decried the acute shortage of medical personnel in the Naivasha hospital adding that patients were waiting for hours before getting services.

This was echoed by the union Secretary General George Gibore who said that many workers in the facility were casual laborers despite being medically qualified leading to low morale.

“This is a referral hospital that is busy and serving hundreds of patients but staffing is low and hence the long queues recorded daily,” he said.

He condemned the attack on the health workers while calling for the Nakuru county government and the hospital management to urgently address the issues of security.

“We should assure health workers of their security as we call on police to hasten investigations into the Naivasha incident,” he said.

On her part, the Secretary-General Kenya National Union of Nurses Rose Masta termed the attack as demoralizing and disheartening for the health workers.

“As we address the issue of the attack, the county should look into staffing as the health workers in this facility are overwhelmed and demoralized,” she said.

Silas Mwiti
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