Kenya: Patients Suffer in Kisumu, Kisii as Nurses' Strike Enters Day Two

Nurses in Elgeyo-Marakwet County protest outside Governor Alex Tolgos’ office in Iten on February 05, 2019.
5 February 2019

Patients in various public hospitals in Kisumu and Kisii counties continued to suffer as nurses' strike entered its second day on Tuesday.

Public hospitals in Kisumu were deserted after nurses vowed to press on with their boycott until their demands are met.

At the Kisumu Sub-County Hospital, doctors discharged patients due to lack of nurses to attend to them.

Mzee William Nyayaka, who was admitted to the facility on Friday, was told to wait till Monday for an X-ray which never was.


"I'm sad and disappointed, I have no money to take my father to a private hospital," said Mr Nyakaka's son Mr Maurice Otieno.

Ms Alice Abonyo said: "My sister Gertrude Ayoo, who has been in hospital since November, was booked for an operation next week. I came today (Tuesday) only to be told she has been discharged."

But the Kenya National Union of Nurses Kisumu branch chairman Maurice Opetu said that the strike would continue since they had not received service and uniform allowances.

"We have been patiently waiting for our dues since November 2017," said Mr Opetu who faulted Cabinet Secretary for Labour Ukur Yatani for taking too long to call for dialogue.

In Kisii, patients at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital could not hide their pain.

Doctors were on Tuesday spotted trying to attend to hundreds of patients at the facility.


"We are suffering as we have not been attended to since morning. I was admitted here last week after being diagnosed with diabetes. I have not been given any drugs since Sunday," said Mr Nyakundi Nyang'au who now hopes to go to a private hospital.

"I'm disappointed, I thought my father would receive better services here," said Ms Agnes Nyakundi, the patient's daughter.

The facility failed to admit more patients. Those who had gone for treatment at the hospital opted to seek medical services from dispensaries in town, while those who were due for discharge were forced to stay at the hospital as nurses took to the streets.


"I was to be discharged today (Tuesday) but there is nobody to clear me," said Mr Abira.

Patients with low income could not be transferred to private hospitals in the region due to financial constraints.

They now want the Kisii County government to speed up negotiations with the nurses and agree on the return to work formula that was signed on November 2, 2017.

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