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Overworked and underpaid: Nurses lament over staffing shortages

By Gerald Mukembu

The Kenya National Union of Nurses wants County and national governents to employ more of their staff to handle patients as per the World Health Organization.

KNUN President Michael Wekesa lamented that despite their start of a one week commemoration of Nurses week, they have little to smile about.

Wekesa said some Nurses are daily dying of stress related workforce burn outs while others develop physical issues.

“80% of every patient is currently served by only one nurse from 7-6pm every day. We are suffering due to a big shortage of nurses. World over, one nurse should attend to six patients. This has caused more harm,” Wekesa said.

Meru branch Nurses Secretary General Nesbit Mugendi and Chairman Mugambi Bakari said the week’s commemoration is beneficial to the community.

“We will conduct cancer, Diabetes, cleft lips surgeries and hypertension in all our hospitals for free from May 3 to May 10,” Mugendi said.

More than 700 nurses will be commemorating the day at Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) on Friday May 3, 2024.

Wekesa urged the County and National Governments to factor in employing of nurses.

“It goes without saying, the government needs to pull their socks in matters employing nurses. Every MP and MCAs are establishing new Dispensaries and health facilities but no increase to this cadre,” he said.

Wekesa added that 46% Kenya’s wage Bill which is above 35% requirement in the Country is dentrimental and encouraged them to seek for greener pastures outside the Country instead of remaining unemployed.

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