Kenya: Death Toll Dispute as Nurses’ Strike Bites

About 10 people are said to have died as the health workers’ strike in Nakuru county continues.

But county officials say two lives have been lost.

The strike in 11 facilities enters its fifth day today, with the nurses saying they will not relent until they are promoted and paid salary arrears and allowances.Patients yesterday found the main gates locked at the Rift Valley Provincial Hospital.

They were turned away by guards.”We woke up early in the morning and travelled from Rongai to seek treatment,” resident Robert Mungai said.

He said they cannot afford treatment in private facilities.

“We will be forced to buy painkillers at a chemist then go home, hoping the health workers will resume work as soon as possible,” he said.

Resident Martha Njeri, a mother of six, said her five-year-old son fell sick on Monday and was turned away when she visited Molo Health Centre.

“Since then, my son’s health has been deteriorating. I have been visiting the facility every morning hoping I will find the nurses,” she said.

South Rift Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union chairman Julius Nyambaka said negotiations with the county government failed on Tuesday.

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