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Drama as Meru watchman 'closes' dispensary over pay

By WAINAINA NDUNG'U | Published Wed, January 11th 2017 at 13:20, Updated January 11th 2017 at 13:28 GMT +3

There was drama at a health centre in Igembe South, Meru County, yesterday, when a guard denied patients and staff entry to press for his pay.

Shadrack Kaberia, who works as a watchman at Antubochio health centre, lamented he had not been paid for the past seven months.

"I have very pressing needs. My children have not been able to report to school due to lack of fees and that is why I will only allow resumption of services after all my dues are settled," Kaberia said.  

He added: "Now it is as if I am neglecting my children yet it is not my fault. This is just too much and I am not willing to take it anymore."

He said doctors and nurses at the facility were paid their dues after they went on strike. "That is why I also decided to take action to get paid."

A clinical officer said he could not access the facility after the guard denied him entry and that he was seeking his bosses' intervention.

He said he was aware the watchman had not been paid but unlike other casual labourers, some of whom have since quit, he stayed on.

"As much as the guard has the right to fight for his money, the public have the right to health services," he said

Gregory Mwiti, the facility's chairman, said the management was negotiating a way out of the crisis.

Mwiti said they have been experiencing problems for some time now after the county government stopped supporting the facility. This came as health services in public facilities remain paralysed due to the ongoing doctors' strike.