The Nairobi health workers strike continued Sunday even as Governor Mike Sonko and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi appealed for dialogue.
The two have made unsuccessful attempts to strike a deal with the medics who downed their tools for reasons including lack of adequate protection as they treat Covid-19 patients.
They went on strike four days ago also because of poor pay, inadequate health insurance, poor quality protective gear and a small number of isolation wards for the patients.
Nairobi County accounts for more than 60 per cent of the cases reported countrywide and is Kenya’s epicentre.
Mr Badi’s meeting on Friday with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) did not bear much fruit.
He and Governor Sonko have now appealed to the health workers to pursue dialogue, assuring them that the county is looking for solutions to all their grievances.
Mr Badi said the cooperation will ensure all of the workers’ key concerns are addressed.
“We will initiate talks with the union officials to ensure salaries are timely paid,” he said.
The NMS boss further said all public hospitals have been equipped with PPEs.
“Health workers are the heartbeat of virus response so we are negotiating with them on their concerns in order to come to a middle ground and move forward,” he said.
Governor Sonko asked union officials to soften their stance and go back to work as solutions to their issues are sought.
He reiterated that he will work with the NMS to ensure all the issues are addressed.
“I am appealing to all concerned unions to stop inciting the health workers to strike especially as we face Covid-19. We have promised we will address your issues,” he said.