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Nairobi Doctors End Strike After Signing NMS Pay Deal

Nairobi County government medical staff resumed work on Thursday following a six-day strike over delayed salaries and a lack of protective equipment when handling patients who may have COVID-19.

The doctors returned to work after signing an agreement with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

The doctors have been on strike since Friday August 21, over lack of comprehensive medical cover, arrears owed to locums, promotions and re-designations among other concerns.

In the agreement, the government promised to pay doctors on the fifth day of every month on the condition that a default could result in quitting work without notice. 

The inking of the deal came after a series of talks involving officials drawn from NMS, Nairobi County government and the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU).

“On behalf of doctors of Nairobi County, we have called off the strike and we shall resume work immediately and shall continue offering work as normal,” KMPDU Nairobi branch secretary-general, Thuranira Kaugiria stated.

The agreement also provides doctors with two isolation facilities in the event that they contract the deadly COVID-19.

The 320 striking doctors also cited poor quality protective gear, too few isolation wards and inadequate health insurance. 

The strike only affected hospitals run by the county government and not those run by the national government or those run privately.

Kenya has 33,016 confirmed coronavirus cases, 564 deaths and 19,296 recoveries out of 429,513 tests conducted, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. 

The majority of confirmed cases have been in the capital, although the government says the numbers have started rising faster in rural areas.

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