Health care services in Taita-Taveta county were today thrown into a fresh crisis after workers allied to the Kenya Health Professionals Society (KHPS) downed their tools demanding better terms of service, including promotions and allowances as were awarded to nurses who were on strike recently.
The workers who were chanting and blowing whistles and vuvuzelas, marched through Wundanyi town and camped outside the county offices, demanding to be addressed by governor John Mruttu.
However, Mruttu was reported to be out of office attending a public function in Taveta sub-county.
The workers vowed not to return to work until their demands were addressed failure for which they would cripple services in all the four sub-county hospitals and health facilities.
“When the nurses were on strike recently, we worked very hard to ensure that key services were not paralysed, but now we too are joining the doctors in demanding for our rightful dues,” said the chairman of KHPS Reuben Sabiti Mwawasi.
Mwawasi said the county government had been taking their grievances lightly adding: “ Now we have reached a turning point and the county government either listens to us or we ground services in all health institution”.
Among the those represented in the strike include pharmacists, clinical officers, laboratory technicians, radiologists, physiotherapists, occupational health and clerical staff.
“Nurses cannot handle the crisis once we refuse to return to work and it’s imperative that the county government treats this matter as urgent as it is an emergency,” said Mwawasi.
Thee interim county secretary Peter Juma was interrupted several times as he tried to address the disenchanted workers who kept shouting him down, “ Lipa Kama Tender!”
Frantic efforts were made to get governor Mruttu to address the health workers, with the public health CEC member Gifton Mkaya announcing that that the governor had promised to address them by 6 pm today.