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President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto with Ukambani leaders tour Makindu Sub-County Hospital in Makueni on December 7, 2016. PHOTO | PSCU/UPESI NEWS
BY KORIR JUMA,PSCU,DEC 7,2016- President Kenyatta has finally broken his silence on the health workers’ strike that has paralysed services across the country.
He on Wednesday called on the striking medics to end their job boycott and give dialogue a chance.
“To our civil servants and specially the striking doctors and nurses, nobody has refused to talk with you,” said Mr Kenyatta after commissioning the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) campus in Makindu Town.
He went on: “You have seen that for the last few days we have been working hard to find a solution to the impasse.”
His call came as the Health ministry continued to engage the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) and the Kenya National Union of Nurses at Afya House in Nairobi.
Mr Kenyatta expressed optimism that a solution would be found soon but called on the striking workers to resume work in the meantime.
He said medics should not give the government ultimatums as negotiations spearheaded by governors, the Health ministry and KMPPDU were already taking place.
“We need to be compassionate with the lives of citizens,” he said. “Why should we have lost over 14, close to 20 lives already?”
“We should not allow innocent citizens to suffer for problems they know nothing about.”
He lauded the Makueni County government for offering free healthcare services to residents and urged counties to learn from Prof Kibwana’s government and focus their energies on health and agriculture.
He inspected the ongoing construction of a trauma centre at Makindu Sub-County Hospital and pledged to partner with the local government to see the completion of the project that he said would help not only Makueni residents but also motorists on Mombasa Road.
The president, who has been in the area since Tuesday, also launched the tarmacking of the Nunguni-Katuaa Road in Kilome Constituency.
He also inspected the ongoing construction works at a KMTC campus at Tawa Town.
“These infrastructure projects are meant to create employment to our youth and open up the country for development by attracting investors,” he said, adding that his administration was undertaking such projects in all parts of the country.
He was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, Prof Kibwana and his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and MPs from the area.