News / Africa

Kenya Doctors Vow to Continue Strike

Peter Clottey
The leader of Kenya’s health care workers’ union says the group members will remain on strike until the government keeps its part of a labor agreement signed last year.

“We signed an agreement in December 2011 with the government when we [embarked on] this industrial action and nine months down the line, the government has not kept its side of the bargain,” said physician Were Onyino, secretary-general of Kenya’s Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPPDU) 

“We went on strike after even giving an extended strike notice to the government to give them an opportunity to come to the table and give us a clear implementation plan to the issues we agreed [to] last year,” he said.

Onyino said the government has yet made improvements in the country’s health care delivery system as called for in the December agreement.

“Key among these issues is actually addressing the poor state of healthcare in our country,” he said. “And we actually even came up with a report that basically addresses the issues of infrastructure, human resource issues and issues of availing medications to the public.”

Last week, the government described the doctors’ strike as illegal. Despite that, the health care union said its members would not go back to work until their demands are met.

“We are not even asking for any new demands, like salary increases. We are just asking the government to basically implement what was agreed upon last year,” Onyino said.

Some Kenyans have expressed worries that the strike poses a threat to health care throughout the country and that it affects mostly the poor who cannot afford to go to private clinics or hospitals.

There have been calls for compromise between the government and the striking doctors. But Onyino said that has so far been impossible.

“How do you find a compromise when the government does not want to speak to you?” he said. “We first issued the strike notice 22 days ago [yet] not a single government official has actually approached the union so that we can dialogue.”

But Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong’o says the government is indeed ready to address the grievances cited by the striking health workers.

"We condemn some selfish doctors who incite professional health workers and disrupt delivery of health services to needy Kenyans,” Nyong'o said, according to Kenya media.

Clottey interview with Dr. Were Onyino, KMPPDU General Secretary
Clottey interview with Dr. Were Onyino, KMPPDU General Secretaryi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs