Kenya: Doctors end strike over pay delay, lack of PPE

The 320 striking doctors walked out last week, citing poor quality protective gear, few isolation wards and pay delays.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Nairobi
Kenya has 33,016 confirmed coronavirus cases and 564 related deaths, according to the health ministry [Njeri Mwangi/Reuters]

Doctors employed by Kenya’s Nairobi County government resumed work following a six-day strike over delayed salaries and a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling patients who may have COVID-19.

Thuranira Kaugiria, Nairobi County secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, said in a WhatsApp message on Thursday the doctors had returned to work after signing an agreement with county officials on Wednesday.

In the agreement, the government promised to pay doctors on the fifth day of every month, failing which the doctors were free to stop work without notice.

The agreement also provides doctors with two isolation facilities in the event they contract COVID-19.

The county government also committed to providing the doctors with adequate supplies of high-quality PPE, the deal said.

The 320 striking doctors walked out last week, citing poor quality protective gear, too few isolation wards, and inadequate health insurance.

The strike only affected hospitals run by the county government, and not those run by the national government or those that are privately run.

Kenya has 33,016 confirmed coronavirus cases, 564 related deaths, and 19,296 recoveries out of 429,513 tests conducted, according to the health ministry.

The majority of confirmed cases have been in the capital, although the government said the numbers have started rising faster in rural areas.

Source: Reuters