5,500 new health employees to start work after Easter, says Oparanya

Thursday, April 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Bernard Gitau and Enock Amukhale

The 5,500 health workers who are being recruited to boost human resource capacity in all health facilities during the coronavirus crisis, are expected to report to work on Tuesday next week.

At a news conference yesterday, the Council of Governors (CoG) said the recruitment, being done in collaboration with the national government, was proceeding smoothly.

 CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya revealed that the national government had given counties conditional grants to carry out the recruitment being done by the county public service boards.

“The national government is supporting counties by giving them conditional grants to recruit additional 5,500 health workers in different cadres,” said the Kakamega governor.

But the Kenya National Union of nurses (Knun) asked governors to keep off and leave the recruitment to the national government.

“The hiring should be left to the Public Service Commission because we fear governors might hire incompetent and unqualified personnel for political reasons instead of merit,” Knun Secretary General Seth Panyako told the media.

Protective equipment 

The recruitment of health workers is aimed at easing the burden on strained health facilities as the number of Covid-19 cases rise every day. At least 179 positive cases of Covid-19 and six deaths had been recorded by yesterday.

Oparanya, who spoke at COG headquarters in Nairobi, urged Kenyans to continue seeking medical help in hospitals, saying health services had not been interrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

And to protect health workers from contracting the virus, Oparanya said counties would ensure they have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPEs) for their employees.

On food security, Oparanya termed the situation dire and called on the national government to look for ways of supporting vulnerable people.

“No county government can handle food security. The national government should give vouchers or cash to the poor to purchase food,” he said.

The governor lauded the decision by Ministry of Agriculture to allow millers and traders to purchase maize from farmers and from outside the country, saying this would prevent corruption cartels from taking advantage of the food shortage.

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