4 July 2014

Kenya: Uasin Gishu Nurses Threaten Strike Over Pay

Nurses have issued a new strike notice to the Uasin Gishu county government.

They say their colleagues hired on contract have not been paid.

Kenya National Union of Nurses officials have also accused the county government of running down health services in the region.

Mothers delivering in maternity wards at the county hospitals risk getting infections and other health complications due to lack of adequate equipment and deliberate mismanagement, KNUN secretary John Bii said during a press conference in Eldoret town yesterday.

He said the county government promised to pay the nurses two months ago but many of them have not been paid, while others were paid between Sh300 and Sh3,000.

"Health workers in this county are frustrated and we support the move taken by Parliament to vote to return management of health services to the national government," Bii said. He said if the nurses will not have been paid by Sunday, Uasin Gishu health workers will go on strike. The union also wants the nurses to be employment on permanent and pensionable terms.

The union is also accusing the county chief officer of health and chief nurse of frustrating nurses. They said the two officers are arrogant and abuse health workers who seek help from their offices.

Bii said Governor Jackson Mandago must ensure that the dilapidated maternity and labour wards in the county, which are a health risk to mothers, are upgraded.

He said hospitals in Uasin Gishu do not have enough medicine "yet politicians from the county go round cheating that they have bought enough drugs." said Bii.

County secretary Peter Lelei however said hospitals have enough drugs and he has not received any complaints from the nurses.

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