Health services paralyzed in Kilifi as nurses go on strike

Hospitali ya Malindi.

Kilifi, KENYA: Services in health facilities in the entire Kilifi County have paralyzed as nurses joined their colleagues on a strike.

The nurses are crying foul over the unimplemented collective bargaining agreement they signed with the government.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Kilifi county secretary general Evans Ogato,on Monday vowed   that no nurse would resume work until their demands are met.

Speaking to Baraka FM on Tuesday, Ogato impugned the County public services board for being unenthusiastic in effecting the agreement signed in January 2017.

“We have been forced to take this industrial action because the government is not keen in addressing our plight,” said Ogato.

“In January we held a meeting with the governor and pledged our issues would be ironed out in three weeks’ time but to date no action has been taken,” he added.

Kilifi County chief officer in charge of Health Services Dr. Timothy Malingi confirmed the strike and said he is set to meet Union officials on Tuesday to unlock the stalemate.

Ogato was however pessimistic that the meeting would yield any fruits.

“The Health department did everything on their capacity to address their grievances and have no issues with them,” said Ogato.

“I know the chief officer will tell us that they forwarded everything to the County public service board,” added Ogato.

Malingi confirmed that the health human resource department had processed about two hundred promotions.

“One hundred staff are due for upgrading and one hundred and fifty for confirmations. We have staff who have not been promoted for over seven years and have done their best and used their resources to further their studies,” added Ogato.

The County has over six hundred nurses who are participating in the strike.

“We agreed with those who were on duty in wards to remain behind as the hospitals organized how to transfer the patients to other facilities or discharge them,” added Ogato.