Homa Bay county promotes 336 health workers

Homa Bay Secretary Benard Muok (left) handing over promotion letters of health workers to the Chief Officer for Health Kevin Osuri at the health department headquarters on May 30, 2024. Persistent health workers’ strike in Homa Bay County are expected to reduce after the county government began promoting the medics from their job groups. A total of 336 health workers were promoted. [James Omoro, Standard]

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga's administration has promoted 336 health workers in a bid to boost service delivery and avert perennial strikes.

This came after the County Secretary Benard Muok, the County Public Service Board Chairman Isaiah Okoto and the Health Chief Officer Kevin Osuri agreed to address the plight of the health workers.

Prof Muok who is also the Head of Public Service admitted that promotion of health workers was a thorny issue and some had stayed in the same job groups for 19 years.

“We have decided to promote the 336 health workers across all carders in this county. The promotion has been a serious problem where some health workers stagnated for 19 years,” he said.

The County Secretary revealed that they received applications from 900 health workers who wanted to be promoted but financial constraints forced them to only consider 336.

“Limited resources was our serious challenge but the other health workers will be promoted in the next financial year,” he said.

He said the promotion will be effected in the health workers’ salaries of May.

Okoto explained that the promotions were done on merit, based on how long one had stagnated in a job group.

“What we were considering most in the promotion is the duration these health workers had stagnated in their job groups,” he said.

He promised that they will clear backlog of promotions in the future.

Health workers’ union leaders expressed optimism that the initiative will enable  Homa Bay residents to get services uninterruptedly.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Liaison Officer in the county Ochieng Otana said the promotion had given them morale to discharge their duties.

“The greatest beneficiaries of this initiative are the citizens of this county because they will get health services uninterruptedly,” Dr Otana said.

The Kenya Union of Nurses secretary in the county Omondi Nyonje urged Wanga's administration to consider the other health workers who applied for promotion.

“This promotion is unprecedented and it is our great achievement in this government. It has given us morale for discharging our duties,” Nyonje said.