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Health workers table demands on reopening economy

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa | July 2nd 2020 at 09:00:00 GMT +0300
Graffiti at Buxton area in Mombasa County saluting health workers.[Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Health workers have tabled their set of demands to be met before reopening of the economy, saying churches and basic education institutions should not be allowed to resume yet.

The health workers, among them clinicians, lab technologists, dieticians, pharmaceutical technologists and nurses, also want the Government to employ 10,000 more medics.

In a joint statement issued by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers General Secretary George Gibore, the medics said the additional workforce will enable vulnerable populations to be reached.

The medics noted that due to the pandemic, there has been reduced hospital visits with the most affected being infants in need of vaccination and persons with compromised immunity who are susceptible to severe illnesses as a result of Covid-19 disease.

“The Government should conduct targeted vaccination and avail free medicine to protect this population as some have lost their income and cannot afford to buy drugs,” he said.

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Gibore, who was accompanied by KUCO Chair Peterson Wachira, Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako among other union leaders, said they are in full support of plans to reopen the economy. However, this should be done in phases and strategically.

“We must tread carefully, and make deliberate efforts to ensure we do not end up like the Western countries,” said Wachira.

In addition, the healthcare workers also want the government to extend the Covid-19 allowance that initially ran from April to June 2020, saying they are yet to receive the said payments.

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