Lamu, KENYA: Nurses in public hospitals and dispensaries in Lamu County continued with their normal duties albeit later than usual, despite the just announced nurses and medics strike all over the country.
Patients who arrived early at the Lamu County King Fahad Hospital were forced to wait for an unusually longer period before being attended to, since the nurses and other staff had not arrived for the day.
The nurses who were on a go-slow, were awaiting an alert on the next move from the hospital management who were in a meeting early Monday morning.
The meeting between the county health bosses and the nurses seems to have bore fruits, since the nurses assumed their normal duties shortly after.
“I have been here since 7am this morning.Its over four hours now without being attended to and that’s not normal. We heard rumors that nurses will be striking but we are glad that they have started attending to people now,” said Aisha Bwanamkuu,a patient.
Lamu county Health Director Mohamed Abubakar said nurses in Lamu will not take part in the nationwide strike.
He denied that there was a go slow among medical staff at the county hospital and said they had not received any complaints from patients at the facility.
“We have over 200 nurses in the county and I want to assure all that they are working.The normal routine shall be observed; any changes will be communicated in due course,”said Abubakar.
He however said there was a high possibility of doctors in Lamu to join the strike.
“We have observed that many doctors are not at their stations and we highly suspect that they might join the strike for solidarity with their counterparts all over the country,”he added.
Lamu Nurses Association chair Julius Njogu stressed that they would not join the ongoing strike.
Njogu said the county government of Lamu had been taking good care of all their needs and that they saw no plausible reason why they should strike.
“We as nurses in Lamu shall not partake in the strike. We have no reason really for doing that and it would be unfair that despite all efforts made by the county government to ensure proper working environments that we strike.” Said Njogu.
The situation was also the same at the Mpeketoni and Faza hospitals, where doctors and nurses were seen attending to patients.