- Knun’s Kakamega branch officials said six mothers and 123 babies had died at different hospitals in the county.
- The feasibility of hiring new staff remains questionable because Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses.
Nurses have vowed to continue with their job strike until their grievances are addressed, saying they will not be cowed by threats to sack them.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) on Tuesday said its members will not be shaken by any threat from governors, adding that they will only resume duty once the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has been signed.
“Why do they keep threatening us with sacking and employing other nurses?” Knun secretary-general Seth Panyako told the Nation on phone.
The health workers have been away from work since June 5, demanding payment of a Sh25,000 monthly allowance, Sh15,400 in risk compensation and Sh5,000 extraneous allowance, as well as Sh5,000 for responsibility.
They also want to be paid a Sh50,000 annual allowance for uniform.
The strike has mainly affected ordinary Kenyans.
On Tuesday, it emerged that a number of mothers and babies have died in the last three months in Kakamega County due to the absence of caregivers.
Knun’s Kakamega branch officials said six mothers and 123 babies had died at different hospitals in the county.
The secretary, Mr Renson Bulunya, said the situation at the county referral hospital and other health institutions in the region was getting worse.
County director of medical services Arthur Andere said the nurses should take the blame for the situation.
“What did they expect would happen after they abandoned patients? The doctors can do very little after diagnosing and treating patients when nurses are not there to provide care to the sick,” Dr Andere said.