THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF KENYA NATIONAL UNION OF NURSES APPEAL TO THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA ON COVID-19
The Union has received information from its members in county governments that Nurses and other health workers have not been well trained and or prepared to handle the Corona Virus pandemic which continues to be a big threat to all of Kenyans and the world at large.
The Union is aware that the government through the National Treasury has set aside 1. 2 Billion shillings for the Ministry of Health and also 8 Billion donated by the WHO to assist in fighting COVID-19 in Kenya. The Union strongly opposes this money from being given to some corrupt individuals in the Country who purport to be going to county governments to offer trainings on Corona Virus pandemic.
The Union recommends the trainings and preparing of health workers in the Counties on how to deal with this pandemic but we insist that there are government departments mandated to educate them and we are aware that we have 1200 people who have been trained well known as ( trainers of trainers).
The government should give information on how to prevent this disease and protect health workers who are taking care of patients through electronically transmitted learning methods to the County governments departments of health and education.
We oppose those selfish and corrupt officials who are visiting the Ministry of Health seeking money to go and hold seminars in the counties. The government and the WHO has recommended avoidance of public gathering and in case of any meeting, people should observe 1.5 Metres distance.
The union demands that the money given to the Ministry of Health by the National Treasury and the World Health Organisation is used to buy PPEs and other materials to be used by health workers to fight Corona Virus Pandemic.
The Union also requests the government through the Ministry of Health to increase transport allowance to health workers and especially those in frontline in fighting this Pandemic. This is because public transport has hiked bus fare because of social distance in vehicles.
The Union also want Risk allowance that is being paid to Nurses increased from Ksh. 3,850 to Ksh. 20,000 same as paid to doctors. This is because nurses are the frontline runners in health sectors and are highly exposed to untold risks. The union requests the government to also honour the RTWF of July 2nd, 2017 and pay all Nurses Risk Allowance of Ksh. 20,000.
We also ask the government to consider giving Healthworkers a Life Insurance of not less than 10 Million so that the families of the Healthworkers do not suffer when a Healthworker dies in line of duty and especially due to this pandemic. We are aware that those who have been affected by this disease in Italy and China are Nurses in the health department. A big number of Nurses in Italy and China have been infected by this pandemic and have died.
The Union also asks the government to use the 9.2M employ over 7,000 nurses who have completed their education and are jobless. This is because the Country has a shortage of Nurses and the over 7,000 nurses if employed could offer great and tremendous support to fellow Healthworkers already fighting to contain Corona Virus in Kenya. The government should employ all Healthworkers on Permanent and Pensionable terms. The Union is Strongly opposed to contractual employment of Healthworkers.
As a Union, we are ready to work with the government if it listens to our concerns towards our members who are great nurses of this Republic. We thank the government for the steps it has taken in fight against this pandemic and urge the it through the Ministry of Health to take further steps and make it a routine to quarantine all the health workers involved in treatment of Corona Virus (Especially KHN and Mbangathi Hospitals after every 14 days just to make sure they are safe.
Finally, the Citizens should follow all the government directives on this pandemic and especially directives from the Ministry of Health.
1. Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water / Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
2. Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or bent elbow, dispose the tissue in a trash or burn it and wash hands immediately or sanitize.
3. Practice and maintain social distancing.
4. Avoid shaking hands, kissing, hugging.
5. Avoid crowds
6. Maintain good respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing with a handkerchief, tissue or into flexed elbow.
7. STAY HOME.
Be a responsible citizen, if you can STAY AT HOME. LET US SAFE LIVES.
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY, HON.SETH PANYAKO- KNUN.