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Government given 48hrs to evacuate nurses from Mandera

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy ALLY JAMAH | 6 years ago
By ALLY JAMAH | 6 years ago

Kenya National Union of Nurses General Secretary Seth Panyako

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Nurses Union has given the government 48 hours to evacuate its members from Mandera County due to the security crisis in the region.

Kenya National Union of Nurses General Secretary Seth Panyako issued the ultimatum Tuesday saying nurses cannot continue offering services in public health facilities in Mandera when they face high risks of death from the Al Shabaab criminals.

“We are not handing victory to the terrorists but we want our members to withdraw until the security situation can be guaranteed. Nurses also have a right to life like everyone else,” he said after meeting members of the Union’s National Executive Council.

He added: “It is very unfortunate that the innocent people of Mandera who badly need health services will also suffer because of withdrawal of nurses and other health professionals, but we hope the security situation will be restored to normal as soon as possible.”

The General Secretary also demanded that all the nurses who have lost their lives in the Al Shabaab violence in the region should also be compensated. He suggested that they should get Sh10 million that police are given when they lose their lives in the line of duty

“We lost one nurse during the November 28 attack by Al Shabaab. We don’t want one cadre of public servants to be discriminated in compensated. All of them deserve equal treatment,” he said.

He said that his calls for nurses’ to withdraw are not based on their ethnic community or religion but all those who feel threatened. He added that that he is in consultation with other trade unions representing other cadres of the civil services

KNUN has thousands of members in the larger North Eastern region which have borne the biggest brunt of devastating cross-border attacks by the Al Shabaab terrorist group which is seeking the withdrawal of the Kenyan military from Somalia.

Panyako called on President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Interior Ministry and security agencies to up their game to secure the country from incessant attacks by the Al Shabaab terrorist organisation.

“We wonder why there is no active military involvement in securing the borders of the country especially alongside the Somalia border. How external forces can kills many Kenyans within such a short duration? There is a serious failure of security agencies that needs to be fixed urgently,” he said.

KNUN Chairperson John Bii said as a union, they have a responsibility to protect the lives of their members who do not have the capacity to protect themselves from gun-wielding criminals

“There is no way nurses can continue working when they face the clear danger of death. It is obvious that the government is failing in its responsibility to provide security in the region,” he said

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