Coronavirus: Kenya doctors’ fury over Covid-19 deaths

November 2020 BBC; The doctors’ union in Kenya has accused the government of not protecting healthcare workers who are treating Covid-19 patients, after the deaths of four medical practitioners last week.

They all died in a 24-hour period, although it is unclear if they had contact with coronavirus patients.

The union, which is threatening strike action, wants all health workers to get PPE and comprehensive medical cover.

Kenya has reported 1,239 Covid-19 deaths since its first case in March.

Thirty healthcare workers, including 10 specialist doctors, have so far died from Covid-19, according to the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Doctors Union.

“Our members have worked in extremely difficult, draining, hazardous and injurious working environments,” it said in a statement which issued a 21-day strike notice to the government.

The union’s acting secretary general, Mwachonda Chibanzi, said that they would not call off the strike until all their demands, which also include hiring more doctors, are met.

“We will be available for any engagement within those three weeks, failure to which we will have no choice but to rally our members for our nationwide strike,” Mr Mwachonda said.

Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said that a meeting would be held on Monday to discuss the rise of Covid-19 infections in the country and among healthcare workers.

There are 7,333 registered doctors in Kenya serving a 46 million population.

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