86 doctors dismiss by Kenyan government amidst strike in COVID-19 pandemic
On Wednesday, the Kenyan government dismissed 86 doctors who had refused to resume work amid a December 2020 ongoing strike against poor working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those dismissed was Chibanzi Mawachonda, secretary-general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU), a doctors’ association.
Speaking by telephone to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists and Dentist Union’s Anadolu News Agency, Chibanzi Mawachonda said the government’s position was illegal and uncalled for, reports Africanews.
As opposed to firing them, he condemned the move and called on the government to resolve its grievances.
In late December, talks with the government about wages and a lack of protective gear led many doctors to return to work. But, some refused to say that their problems were unresolved. The sacked doctors vowed that they would take the government to court.
According to the doctors’ union, at least 14 doctors in Kenya have died of coronavirus since the first case was confirmed in March. The health care system in Kenya faces additional pressure from nurses who have similar grievances and have been striking since early December as well.
So far, 1,694 deaths and 97,398 coronavirus infections have been recorded by the Kenyan Health Ministry.