NAIROBI, 16 November 2020 – Kenya’s union of medical doctors has accused the government of failing to protect medical workers who are risking their own lives to treat COVID-19 patients.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Doctors Union is threatening strike action.
“Our members have worked in extremely difficult, draining, hazardous and injurious working environments,” the union said in their statement, issuing a 21-day strike notice.
The demands by the union include calls for adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as comprehensive medical coverage for their members.
The demands include hiring more doctors and nurses.
The union does not intend to call off the strike unless all demands are met, the press cited the union’s acting secretary general, Mwachonda Chibanzi, as reiterating.
Last week, within a 24-hour period, four medical practitioners died from complications related to the new coronavirus.
It is unclear if the deceased contracted COVID-19 from their patients.
Some 1,239 people have died from COVID-19 since Kenya (total population: 46 million in habitants) was first hit by the pandemic in March 2020.
Those killed so far include 30 medical staff. Among them, the union highlights the deaths of 10 specialist doctors.
The union has its membership includes all of Kenya’s 7,333 registered doctors.