‘Our dignity is more important than BBI!’ Clinical officers stage protest in Nairobi
The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) on Monday gathered at Uhuru Park in Nairobi from where they proceeded to the Ministry of Health headquarters to conduct a peaceful protest accusing the government of ignoring their demands.
The clinical workers, who vowed to down their tools for as long as their grievances are not listened to, slammed the government for focusing more on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) than their dignity as frontline medical providers against the COVID-19 pandemic.
They appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to break his silence on the matter as he has the final say, further stating that their needs were not included in the BBI report.
“Every day politicians are talking of BBI…the BBI has not given nurses a single thing they are asking…The dignity of health workers is important than BBI,” said KUCO Chairperson Wachira Peterson.
“This is our clarion call to the President, at this capacity you can be the last one to answer to our issues. You address 80% of BBI, we would have appreciated if the same effort would go to medical workers strike.”
He added: “Until the government of this nation addresses our issues, we are not going to set foot in hospitals…we have given this government enough time.”
The health workers said from the Ministry of Health headquarters they will later proceed to Parliament and ask legislators to boycott all sittings in solidarity with them until their demands are met.
They also blasted Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and told him to stop playing politics for recently saying they are not sincere and terming their demands as unreasonable.
“Give us projection of PPEs available…without that we are not going back to work. Doctors are being paid Ksh.20,000 risk allowance…we are saying pay us Ksh.30,000 risk allowance monthly,” added Wachira.
“From today we are going to escalate this, we will be on the streets until the world knows…We have been told severally to be understanding, what are we supposed to understand? How much money do you need to get us PPEs?”
Reporting by Eric Owenga and Ben Kirui.