Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has appealed to Healthcare workers across the country to engage in meaningful negotiations with County governments to avert strikes.
Speaking at Kitale Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kagwe reiterated the country was going through tough times occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to claim hundreds of lives across the globe.
“Thus we are passionately urging our health care workers to remain patient over remuneration talks aimed at improving pay packages,” said Kagwe.
Kagwe in particular called upon health workers in Nyanza region to allow room for ongoing dialogue between their representatives and government officials.
“I urge our health staff in Nyanza against engaging in strike and instead give room for meaningful negotiations,” appealed Kagwe.
According to the CS, the health workers plan to engage in industrial action would adversely affect ongoing vaccination drive against coronavirus. On current shortage of the vaccine, especially in Western region, the CS assured Kenyans the ministry was addressing the issue, expressing optimism over the government’s achievement of vaccinating 10 million before end of this year.
“The government placed a requisition for 13 million of Johnson and Johnson vaccine that will be delivered in the county in a couple of days from now. Arrival of the vaccine would enable us surpass the 10 million target,” he noted.
He revealed about 2.7 million Kenyans had by last week Friday received the vaccine.
“We are hopeful that those contracted to supply the vaccines deliver them on time and we are set to surpass the targeted population by the end of the year,” he said.
Kagwe who toured Trans Nzoia to evaluate progress on implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) programme also visited health facilities in the County.
Present, Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba appealed for help from the National Government and other development partners to enable his administration equip the county referral hospital.
“Our referral hospital intends to be the Covid-19 treatment regional centre. It is in this regard that I humbly appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to assist in operationalizing the facility,” he said.
The modern teaching and referral hospital is expected to serve at least four counties in Western and North rift region. The facility has a 350 bed capacity, renal unit, dialysis centre and intensive care unit among other essential departments.
The Governor disclosed that Covid-19’s positivity rate in Trans Nzoia County was presently at 13.4 per cent and called upon local security agencies to ensure proper
adherence to measures issued by Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus.
By Maurice Aluda