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Medical interns stage an overnight protest

Medical interns stage an overnight protest
  • PublishedJuly 9, 2024

Kenyan medical interns strike took a turn on Monday, July 8, as they set up an overnight vigil at the Ministry of Health (MOH) headquarters, Afya House.

The interns showed up with sleeping bags, tucked themselves in, and slept outside Afya House after a failed placement promise made to them by the government.

They held placards that demanded immediate posting while others read “NAKHUMICHA MUST GO”, as they snored their troubles away. Other demands included the restoration of the Linda Mama Scheme, NHIF improvements, and elimination of SHIF.

‘A doctor who is interning cannot practice because they don’t have a license to serve Kenyans, and Kenyans have a right to demand we get licensed so that they know who is working for them. They have not posted any interns for two years and when asked they keep postponing meetings,’ Dr. Austine Odhiambo told the Standard.

Earlier this year, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) held a strike that lasted for 56 days.

They had a list of 19 demands, some of them being posting and paying interns according to the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) terms, the need for a comprehensive insurance cover, and immediate payment of their salary arrears.

The court intervened and both parties reached a consensual agreement. According to the court, the interns’ demands were to be met in 60 days following a litigation between the government and the doctors.

However, 60 days have passed and the interns have not received their end of the bargain, hence the recent move to camp outside Afya House.

These protests were fueled via social media, under the hashtag #OccupyMOH which according to the interns will go on until the government honours their word.

Written By
Sophie Kinya