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Huge relief for patients across the country as doctors resume work

By Standard Team | Published Thu, March 16th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 15th 2017 at 20:39 GMT +3

John Omondi rests on his bed at Kisumu County Hospital, the first day doctors across the country resumed duty after signing a return to work formula. (Photo: Denish Ochieng’/Standard)

John Omondi embodies the relief for hundreds of patients as doctors returned to work after calling off a countrywide strike.

For 100 days, Mr Omondi was cooped up in a ward at Kisumu County Hospital, where he was attended to by caretakers who brought him water and food daily.

The 33-year-old motorcycle operator and resident of Seme Ratta, Kisumu County, was admitted to the hospital in September 2016 with broken limbs after he was involved in a road accident.

At the time, Omondi, a husband and father of four, was to stay in the wards for about one month.

As the doctors streamed back to hospitals yesterday, Omondi’s face looked brighter than it did a month ago when The Standard met him.

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Yesterday, he had three more patients for company and was hopeful the long doctors’ strike had not led to more complications to his bones, which had started healing.

Kisumu County Chief Officer Ojwang Lusi confirmed that all the doctors were back to work yesterday and were attending to patients.

“I will personally be moving around all the health facilities in the county. We want to call upon the public to visit the hospitals,” he said.

Both Jomo Kenyatta Teaching and Referral Hospital and Kisumu County Hospital reported at least 18 admissions, with two surgeries conducted in each of the hospitals.

Across in Kakamega County, normal operations resumed at the county referral hospital after doctors called off the strike.

Health Executive Peninah Mukabane toured the facility yesterday and urged residents to make good use of the hospital.

At least 15 doctors had resumed work at the referral hospital by the time of going to press.

David Muchesi and Jackline Mutsani were among the first patients to be attended to at the hospital and hailed the doctors for ending the strike.

In the Coast region, half of the total number of doctors working at Coast General Hospital reported on duty yesterday after the strike was called off.

Mombasa Health Executive Binti Omar yesterday said out of 108 doctors working at Coast General Hospital, only 56 had reported back to work in the morning.

A spot check at the Rift Valley General Hospital revealed high flow of patients from various counties.

Most doctors in the North Rift region also resumed work yesterday.

In West Pokot, Health and Sanitation Chief Officer Christine Akuto said most of the doctors working at Kapenguria County Hospital resumed work yesterday.

At the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Uasin Gishu County, some of the striking doctors had also resumed work.

In Murang’a County, dismissal letters issued to 45 striking medical officers were withdrawn.

In Kirinyaga, all the four main medical facilities were being fumigated and sterilised before resumption of normal services.

Report by Kevine Omollo, Crispen Sechere,Willis Oketch, Mercy Kahenda, Boniface Gikandi and Irissheel Shanzu.

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