What you need to know:
- The protesting nurses vowed to continue with the strike until the State meets their demands.
- So far, several health facilities have been closed in the region over the strike.
Nurses in Kisii on Wednesday staged a mock burial for Council of Governors Chairman Josephat Nanok and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) boss Sarah Serem to protest failure to sign their Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The health workers chanted songs and waved placards as they carried two ‘coffins’ mounted with photographs of the two in a demonstration that brought business in Kisii town to a standstill.
The protesting nurses were led by Kenya National Union of Nurses Union branch chairman Fredrick Oigo, Secretary General Moses Rianga and his deputy Eric Rioba.
Mr Rioba called on Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu to resign for failure to resolve the nurses’ strike.
"His continued stay in charge of the ministry is a reflection of the tragedy that has become the government's unwillingness to fulfill pledges made to health staff," he said.
The protesting nurses vowed to continue with the strike until the State meets their demands.
"Our strike is a legitimate and justified to protest against the government's casual and insensitive treatment of nurses, who are overworked, underpaid and neglected. We shall not be cowed from our resolve to secure better working conditions," said the union official.
Striking health workers begun their procession from Gusii Stadium, marching through the town streets to mark the 38th day of industrial action.
The nurses marched to the county government headquarters where enforcement officers locked the gates to prevent them from accessing the governor's office.
So far, several health facilities have been closed in the region over the strike.
Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital has discharged most of its admitted patients as they cannot be given round the clock attention by doctors and clinical officers, who are on duty.
In Taita Taveta County, nurses said they will not be cowed by threats to sack them.
Hundreds of nurses from across the county demonstrated at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi on Thursday morning to push for the signing of their CBA.
The nurses said they will not return to work until the document is signed.
The branch chairperson Halima Hassan urged the Council of Governors to push for the signing of the agreement.
She urged Governor John Mruttu, who is also the CoG vice chairperson to push his colleagues to sign the CBA.