Health workers suspend strike for 21 days because Kenya has ‘too many problems’


Health workers suspend strike for 21 days because Kenya has 'too many problems'
Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako during a past presser. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako and his KUCO counterpart George Gibore said the move was mainly aimed at paving way for dialogue with the government.
  • Mr. Panyako however further stated that the planned strike would only have served to worsen the situation in Kenya which he said is already facing "too many problems."

Kenya’s healthcare workers who were set to down their tools on Monday upon the expiration of their strike notice have now suspended the planned go-slow for 21 more days.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako and his Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) counterpart George Gibore, addressing the press on Sunday, said the move was mainly aimed at paving way for dialogue with the government.

Mr. Panyako however further stated that the planned strike would only have served to worsen the situation in Kenya which he said is already facing “too many problems” such as flooding and the coronavirus pandemic.

He hence stated that a strike should only be a last resort, urging healthcare workers in the country to continue going about their duties pending communication from the leadership.

“We have suspended the strike which was supposed to begin tomorrow for another 21 days to pave way for discussions with government. On Friday we engaged the Ministry of Health and we identified all the issues that have been ailing us for in recent times,” said Mr. Panyako.

“As a country right now we have too many problems; flooding has killed over 200 people, there’s the locust infestation and we’re also battling the Covid-19 pandemic.”

According to the KNUN boss, the strike “would only have hurt Kenyans” and so it will only “be the last resort after dialogue with government fails.”

The healthcare workers early this month issued the strike notice seeking harmonisation of their risk allowance as well as to be provided with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

They also stated that no training had been offered to them in the war against the coronavirus adding that they had also been subjected to poor working condition.

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Story By Tabitha Rotich
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