NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – DESPERATE patients are dying at Kenyan hospitals following a two-month strike by doctors protesting massive corruption in the sector.
Doctors allege access to healthcare in Kenya has seriously deteriorated due to graft after revelations top officials in the Ministry of Health stole more than KSh5 billion (R664 million) in the 2015/16 financial year.
In 2016, a leaked internal audit report revealed that since the strike, doctors have told countless stories on poor working conditions with power going out during surgeries with patients open on the operating table.
Nurses have reported watching a patient die because the local legislator took the ambulance to sell his tomatoes at a market in Nairobi.
Facilities such as the state-funded Kenyatta National Hospital have no doctors with reports indicating many people have died because the alternative private hospitals are too expensive for most Kenyans.
Talks between the government and doctors to resolve the strike have meanwhile been unsuccessful.
On Friday, courts granted seven more days for negotiations.
Police have threatened to arrest doctors if there is no resolution.
Audrey Wabwire , Human Rights Watch spokesperson for East Africa, said government must protect Kenyans’ rights to health and life, and work with doctors to reach a solution.
“Otherwise, people will suffer and even risk death as the strike persists.”
– CAJ NEWS