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Kenyan doctors call off strike, nurses keep protesting

Strike had crippled East African country's healthcare industry, leaving many in limbo

Andrew Wasike   | 24.12.2020
Kenyan doctors call off strike, nurses keep protesting

NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenyan doctors who set down their tools for three days over pay and lack of protective gear have resumed work after talks with the government, but the nurses' walkout remains.

Chibanzi Mwachonda, the chair of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union, told reporters Thursday that they had called off the strike after the government assured them that their grievances will be addressed.

Kenya’s The Star in Kenya reported that an agreement between the government and the doctors said: "The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection is available and ready to conciliate on the pending issues so as to find a lasting solution to the grievances by healthcare workers."

It added that the state and doctors “agree to engage further in good faith and trust to restore industrial harmony in the public health sector.”

But Kenya's healthcare system is still ailing amid a strike by nurses and clinical workers which started in early December and is still ongoing. They have similar grievances and have vowed not to return to duty until they are addressed.

The over 35,000 nurses and clinical workers held talks with the government on Monday but they collapsed.

Kenya on Thursday recorded 236 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total cases to 95,431 and the death toll to 1,652, a number that includes healthcare workers who died on the frontline fighting the disease.

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