The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has on Friday issued a 7-day strike notice to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

In their notice, KMPDU has listed five grievances. The Nairobi doctors are demanding a comprehensive National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover as their current ones have not been operational since last month.

In a briefing on Friday, KMPDU County Secretary Thuranira Kaugiria complained about salary delays and not promoting senior doctors. He said that health workers need special Covid-19 isolation facilities.

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“The union has noted with a lot of concern that the county does not have an isolation facility dedicated for health care workers in the county,” Thuranira said.

According to Thuranira, at least 15 doctors in Nairobi have contracted Covid-19 since April. Those doctors recovered from their homes. Countrywide, about 500 health workers have tested positive for Covid-19. Out of those, 14 health workers have succumbed to the virus.

The KMPDU County Secretary also noted that the quality of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) being delivered to Nairobi public hospitals is not up to standard.

“It’s appropriate that the nation and the public at large acknowledge that health care workers are always on harm’s way,” Thuranira emphasized.

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During the week, KMPDU launched a social media campaign demanding better welfare for health workers. The campaign seeks to honour the first doctor who succumbed to Covid-19, Dr Doreen Adisa.

“I am Adisa. We need equipment, beds, provide them with health insurance because health workers are also falling sick. My health, my life as a doctor is no longer in my hands,” the Kenyan doctors appealed.

The doctors have urged the government to create a health service commission for the employment, deployment and training of health workers. They also want the government to cater to their mental wellness.