Health care workers accuse State of playing down their concerns

Thursday, December 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Patients stranded at a hospital in Kisumu on Tuesday. Photo/PD/Viola Kosome

Evans Nyakundi and KNA

Thousands of patients continue to seek medical services elsewhere as most public health facilities remained closed following the countrywide medics strike.

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (Kuco) Nyamira branch chair Boniface Kegusu  has warned they will only call off the strike when their demands have been met fully.

He accused the county and national governments of failing to address their welfare and instead dedicated their energies on Building Bridges Initiative.

In Nandi, Kuco Secretary General George Kibore  said they are demanding comprehensive medical insurance, health risk allowance and Personal Protective Equipment.

“We have lost 10 clinical officers and 22 doctors so far.  We cannot continue working under the same environment as before the pandemic.”

Kibore said working without PPEs is dangerously exposing them to infections because they are the first line contacts with  patients, and therefore, they must fully guard themselves from contracting the deadly virus. 

“Most of our public  hospitals are wanting. Some consultation rooms have no running water and many healthcare workers do not have N95 masks, which are essential especially when examining patients,” he said. 

He spoke at Lolminingai location in Chesumei Sub-County during the burial of Victor Tiony, 32, a Clinical Officer stationed at Kapkangani Health Centre who succumbed to the virus.  In Nyando, Kisumu County, patients continued to suffer as the strike persisted. 

When People Daily  visited various public health facilities yesterday morning, the waiting bay that is often filled to capacity  was empty.

Patients interviewed at Ahero Sub-County Hospital said they are unable to get medical attention because there were no nurses to attend to them.

They  have called on the national government to intervene and ensure critical health services are provided to reduce their suffering.

Nakuru, Health CEC Gichuki Kariuki said the county is open to dialogue towards improving the welfare and working conditions of its health workers.

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