Kenya: NMS to Hire More Than 1,400 Extra Health Workers Amid Covid-19 Resurge

An official from the Nairobi Health Department disinfects a street (file photo).
29 October 2020

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to hire more than 1,400 health care workers to boost provision of health services in the capital.

This comes at a time when Nairobi County has been thrown into the midst of the second wave of Covid-19 infections with the capital recording 518 positive cases on October 27, 2020.

The exercise, which is set to be undertaken by the Public Service Commission (PSC), will see 619 nursing officers, 116 medical laboratory technologists and 173 clinical officers.

The recruitment will also see 130 medical officers hired, 44 medical specialists, 65 assistant health records and information management officers, another 51 nutrition and dietetic technologists 2, 45 pharmaceutical technologists III as well as 38 specialised care nurse and 30 specialised clinical officers, among other positions.

According to the advertisement, interested individuals have up to November 1, 2020 to hand in their applications.

NMS director for Health Services Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, in a report to the Nairobi County Assembly, said the Major General Mohammed Badi-led administration would increase healthcare workforce through recruitment of the midwives, nurses and doctors under the Universal Health Coverage programme as well as on short-term contracts to ease staff workload and burnout.

She said the recruitment seeks to replace staff who had left employment through natural attrition and reduce the workload of staff.

Dr Kibaru-Mbae said retraining of health workers in all NMS facilities offering maternity services aimed at enhancing maternal healthcare is ongoing.

"The training on maternity care and customer care has already started and we hope to scale it up to all staff before the end of the year with support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other partners," said Dr Kibaru-Mbae.

In June, NMS recruited 225 health workers as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta's May 21 announcement that the national government will hire an additional 5,000 health workers in the intensified war on Covid-19.

The recruitment of the health workers who included doctors, nurses and clinical officers hired on three-year contracts was aimed at addressing the shortage of health workers in Nairobi.

"When we took over from City Hall we noted that indeed there is a shortage of health workers and many hospitals relied on locum. We had to recruit more. NMS has embarked on their distribution so that once they get the letters, they know where they will be reporting to," Ms Kibaru-Mbae said at the time.

Shortage of medical staff is a major issue in Nairobi County with several attempts by the Nairobi City County Public Service Board last year to bridge the gap by recruiting nurses frustrated by a lack of quorum in the board.

Before the county health services was transferred to NMS, City Hall said it only had 3,300 health workers inclusive of cleaners and drivers at the time health services were handed over to NMS. However, the actual number was 2,750.

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