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Kenyatta Hospital traders feel pinch of three-month doctors’ boycott

By Lonah Kibet | Published Wed, March 8th 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 7th 2017 at 22:51 GMT +3
Kenyatta National Hospital and University of Nairobi Consultants totaling 300 withdraw all services including emergency services

Business has been very low for the last three months at the Kenyatta National Hospital following the doctors’ strike.

Traders have had to cut down on staff and stock to avoid incurring more loses.

Simon Njuguna, an accountant at one of the stalls in the premises, said the number of customers had dropped significantly for the past three months.

“We used to get countless customers on a daily basis but we now get about 50 if not less. Our profit has also dropped,” pointed out Mr Njuguna.

The shop, which normally makes a profit of about Sh40,000 a day, can now only make Sh10,000 on a good day. Njuguna’s wish is for the doctors’ strike to end soon, as it is causing a lot of pain to the owners and the employees.

Lawrence Kinyanjui, a taxi driver who had only made one trip by 3pm yesterday, said most of the taxi drivers have relocated to other places.

“Biashara ni mbaya (business is bad), I have never experienced a low season like this. You can come here and leave in the evening without ferrying any customer,” said Mr Kinyanjui noting that last year’s holiday season was the worst for him because he could not manage to cater for a feast for his family during Christmas.

Kinyajui said on a good day, before the strike, he could serve about 10 customers and five at the least.

The matatu business is also not doing well as the City Hoppa and KBS public service vehicles have to wait for hours to fill a bus before leaving to and from KNH.

A spot check outside the premises found very few patients waiting to be treated.

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