Kenyan medics pledge to strike over COVID-19 doctor deaths


As Kenya witnesses a surge in COVID-19 cases, healthcare workers have vowed that in 21 days they will down their tools following an increase of deaths among their colleagues at an alarming rate.

Kenya is staring at a health crisis following the deaths of four doctors last week in a period of 24-hours, and hundreds of others who are in the healthcare industry have contracted the disease.

Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the East African country, 25 doctors out of 2,200 infected have succumbed to the disease, including 10 senior specialists in their field of work.

The doctors who have accused the Kenyan government of neglecting them also complain of poor working conditions with a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to protect the healthcare workers from contracting COVID-19.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda who issued the strike notice said that “doctors are dying on the frontline, they do not have adequate PPEs, they do not have comprehensive medical cover, there is no assurance on compensation for healthcare workers and as a result, we have lost doctors and that situation is unacceptable to us.”

Mwachonda urged the government to get “serious” in addressing the plight of frontline workers, otherwise Kenyan doctors will down their tools, making an already serious health crisis worse.

“We must be paid an increased health allowance, we need dedicated health facilities in each county for treatment of doctors and we also need a constitutional health service commission to handle the matters of doctors,” Mwachonda added.