Chibanzi Mwachonda says Kenyan doctors will embark on strike soon

By Agency Reporter

Kenyan doctors have issued a three-week strike notice, accusing the government of failing to provide them with adequate protective gear in the fight against coronavirus.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Sunday said they will go on strike unless their plight is addressed.

The union said over the last eight months, it has continuously engaged all relevant government ministries to no avail.

It has engaged parastatals and council of governors, the legislature and followed all relevant channels in employment and labour relations in a bid to address the plight of frontline healthcare workers.

“The union had put the industrial action off the table but now we have been forced to review our options,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, the union’s Secretary-General.

He faulted the government for failing to address their plight, leading to the deaths of at least 30 medical workers, including 10 senior specialists.

Not even court orders would dampen their resolve to fight for their rights, Mwachonda said.

Coronavirus pandemic claimed 20 more lives in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday, bringing to 139 the number virus fatalities this week.

It also pushed the number of those who have succumbed to the virus since March to 1,269, more than Nigeria’s 1,163.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 972 people had tested positive raising cases reported since March to 70,245.

“Our cumulative tests are now 789,952,” the Cabinet Secretary said while announcing that he had convened a special meeting to discuss the surge in infections and fatalities.