News

    Union Leader Critical of Sacking of Kenyan Healthcare Workers

    Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga makes an address to the public as President Mwai Kibaki and other members of parliament listen after an official announcement of provisional results of Kenya's constitutional referendum in Nairobi  (file photo).
    Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga makes an address to the public as President Mwai Kibaki and other members of parliament listen after an official announcement of provisional results of Kenya's constitutional referendum in Nairobi (file photo).

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Clottey interview with Dr. Boniface Chikayi, General-Secretary of Kenya’s Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU)

    Peter Clottey

    The General-Secretary of Kenya’s Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) said a decision by the government to fire 25,000 striking health professionals will seriously undermine healthcare delivery across the country.

    The government said the decision to sack the workers is to “alleviate further suffering of innocent Kenyans” the strike has caused

    Union leader Dr. Boniface Chikayi called on the administration and leading members of the healthcare professionals to return to the negotiating table to resolve their differences over wages.

    “That measure to sack all the striking health workers and replace them with new ones is not practical at the moment because it is not possible to get 25,000 new health workers within the next few days,” said Chikayi. “It’s going to negatively disrupt provision of health services in Kenyan hospitals for a long time.”

    The administration has called on retired and unemployed health professionals to begin applying to fill the positions of the fired workers Friday.

    The government described as illegal a strike by the sacked healthcare professionals.  Spokesman Alfred Mutua said the names of the sacked health workers are being removed from the government’s payroll and that they will receive their dismissal letters soon.

    “Qualified health professionals who are unemployed or retired are advised to report to the nearest health facility for interviews and deployment starting tomorrow [March 9th],” said Mutua.  “It is wrong regardless of any disagreement for a health profession to abscond from duty and lead to loss of life or their suffering.  The government, and indeed the people of Kenya, will not tolerate this.”

    But, Chikayi said the government’s effort to replace the sacked health professionals is unlikely to resolve the negative impact its decision will have on providing decent healthcare to Kenyans

    “This is going to disrupt [healthcare delivery] because we do not have a pool of healthcare workers who are waiting to be employed.  We do not have that kind of number,” said Chikayi.  “The other problem will be a good number of some of these healthcare [professionals], work in the rural areas.  It becomes difficult to get new workers [with experience] who are willing to be deployed into these far areas of the country.”

    Some Kenyans have expressed concern about the government’s decision to fire the 25,000 health professionals.  Some have described the action as ill-advised and drastic, which they say will be detrimental to the well-being of Kenyans.

    Chikayi said both the government and the dismissed workers should engage in dialogue.

    “Both sides need to stop the chest thumping and realize that, for the sake of the patient, it’s very important that we arrive at a speedy resolution of this matter,” said Chikayi.  “Starting from the government side, it must rescind its decision and they must offer an amnesty to all the workers, and the workers must also be prepared to go back to work on a compromise deal.”

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Send Mwai Kibaki to the Hague jail
    March 10, 2012 8:10 AM
    Sending Kibaki to the Hague jail, and the Kenyan society will act serious and stop the corruption and looting from the annual budget, then the Nurses will be able to get paid. The money is in the pocket of Kenya's senior politicians. If each and every senior politician was to be sent to jail and confiscate the wealth they looted, Kenya will be the richerst country in Africa, and everyone will get paid enough to lead a decent life.

    by: philip
    March 09, 2012 7:33 AM
    Nursing in Kenya has been taken as a joke for so many years in this country.The Government does not recognize the nurses in terms of job promotions and redesignation after training,poor working conditions,shortage(nurse to patient ratio in the wards is 1:30)risk allowance is so meagre and yet ur expected to give your best.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora