Will not relent until our demands are met, striking medics vow

Striking clinicians and nurses have vowed to continue with their industrial action until the government gives in to their demands.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) top officials, however, said they are ready for talks with the government as the strike that has paralysed services in public hospitals entered the second day.

The health workers on Monday made good their threat to boycott work over poor working conditions.

Patients seeking services in the hospitals have been turned away as the action by the medics in the wake of the pandemic takes its toll.

The health workers converged at Uhuru Park in Nairobi where they had held a prayer service for their colleagues who have succumbed to the virus in the line of duty.

KNUN deputy general secretary Maurice Opetu and KUCO Secretary-General George Gobire lamented how the government had neglected the plight of the frontline soldiers adding that their demand for better working conditions and protection had been ignored.

Opetu revealed that the disease had so far claimed 113 medics including community healthcare workers. Nine clinicians had lost their lives.

“ We have no one to cry for us. We will not relent until our demands are met and we will not be considerate this time and we say enough is enough   …therefore the strike continues.” He said.

On his part, KUCO SG Gobire painted a grim situation stating that more deaths will occur if the government does not move in swiftly to protect them.

Gobire maintained the unions are ready for talks to end the strike.  Kenya healthcare professionals chair Albert Taiti expressed his displeasure saying the plight of the frontline workers had been ignored by the government which should be in the forefront protecting them.

“We have been let down. Protect us for the sake of Kenyans” he pleaded.

The healthcare workers at the same time cited intimidation by county health chiefs which has forced them to work under unfavourable conditions.

They further demanded a risk allowance that will enable them to buy vitamins to boost their immunity.

The solemn ceremony saw the healthcare workers lit candles in honour of their fallen colleagues.



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