Kenya medics union officials jailed for not ending strike

Kenya medics union officials jailed for not ending strike

NAIROBI, Kenya — A Kenyan judge Monday jailed seven officials of the medics union for a month for failing to call off a two-month strike by doctors at public hospitals that has seen at least a dozen die due to lack of medical care.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa said she could not delay further the contempt of court sentence she had suspended earlier on condition the doctors call off their strike. At least 5,000 doctors are on strike for better pay and to protest the dilapidated state of Kenya’s public health care.

“This court declines to review its order sentencing the applicants to one month jail term … you can now start serving your sentences, those are the orders of the court,” Wasilwa said.

Doctors want the government to implement pay raises in an agreement signed in 2013. That agreement would raise their salaries by 180 per cent. Currently doctors earn an average basic salary of $400 to $850 per month compared to a Kenya legislator who earns nearly $14,000 a month.

The strike has caused a near-total paralysis in the country’s health sector and many are believed to have died from a lack of emergency services. Early in December, President Uhuru Kenyatta said at least 20 people had died as a result of the strike.

Kenyatta has twice asked the doctors to return to work, first appealing to their humanity for the suffering masses and then offering a partial increase of the salary hikes agreed upon in 2013.

The doctors’ union — the Kenyan Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, rejected both offers and urged the government to pay the full salary increases it promised three years ago.

In 2012, Kenya’s doctors went on strike to protest the bad state of public health care. Emergency rooms in some of Kenya’s public hospitals frequently don’t have gloves or medicine, and power outages sometimes force doctors to use their cellphones to provide adequate light for a surgical procedure.

?Ï??:????????

Tom Odula, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Hang glider pilot rescued from Pincushion Mountain

Pilot was able to help guide rescue crews to her location

Car accident on Leckie Road backs up traffic

An accident involving a bus is blocking traffic driving near Dilworth Mountain

Top Okanagan wedding venue no longer allows wedding ceremonies

Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park and Kaloya Regional Park will no longer allow the ceremonies

Okanagan College has new entrepaneur-in-residence

Jason Richards, has been involved in a number of start-ups over his career

Kelowna Pride Society looks for community feedback

The society is already planning this year’s festivities

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read