Posts tagged as: obado

We Won’t Be Cowed By Threats, Say Nurses

Nurses have vowed to continue with their job strike until their grievances are addressed, saying they will not be cowed by threats to sack them.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) on Tuesday said its members will not be shaken by any threat from governors, adding that they will only resume duty once the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has been signed.

“Why do they keep threatening us with sacking and employing other nurses?” Knun secretary-general Seth Panyako told the Nation on phone.

ALLOWANCES

The health workers have been away from work since June 5, demanding payment of a Sh25,000 monthly allowance, Sh15,400 in risk compensation and Sh5,000 extraneous allowance, as well as Sh5,000 for responsibility.

They also want to be paid a Sh50,000 annual allowance for uniform.

The strike has mainly affected ordinary Kenyans.

On Tuesday, it emerged that a number of mothers and babies have died in the last three months in Kakamega County due to the absence of caregivers.

DEATHS

Knun’s Kakamega branch officials said six mothers and 123 babies had died at different hospitals in the county.

The secretary, Mr Renson Bulunya, said the situation at the county referral hospital and other health institutions in the region was getting worse.

County director of medical services Arthur Andere said the nurses should take the blame for the situation.

“What did they expect would happen after they abandoned patients? The doctors can do very little after diagnosing and treating patients when nurses are not there to provide care to the sick,” Dr Andere said.

STRIKE END

However, he could not confirm the number of fatalities related to the strike.

“We have made efforts to engage with the nurses in an attempt to resolve the dispute but they have remained defiant,” Dr Andere said.

In a bid to end the strike that has paralysed services at public hospitals for long, governors have been using all means to woo nurses back to work.

The feasibility of hiring new staff remains questionable because Kenya faces an acute shortage of nurses, with only 33,000 of the caregivers in employment.

NEGOTIATION

Mr Panyako said if they had continued with the constructive meetings they had with the governors, they would have gone back to work.

“I don’t think we are going to bow down to threats, having witnessed how the governors have treated us before. Only a signed CBA will make us get back to work,” he said.

Hundreds of striking nurses in Migori County defied the return-to-work order issued by Governor Okoth Obado on Monday.

The Migori County Referral Hospital, dispensaries and health centres remained deserted, with only a few clinical officers and doctors attending to patients at the institutions.

SACKING

Governor Obado instructed the county public service board to advertise nurses’ positions to replace the ones on strike.

The Council of Governors last week wrote to the county bosses asking them to advertise positions held by nurses in their regions who did not report for duty by September 8 as instructed.

Reported by Angela Oketch, Elisha Otieno, B. Amadala

ODM Declares Obado Winner in Race for Governorship Ticket

By Philip Momanyi Maosa

The Orange Democratic Movement elections board has approved the nomination of incumbent Okoth Obado in the contest for the Migori governorship post, saying no irregularities were found.

In a press statement sent to the Nation, Ms Judy Pareno, the National Elections Board chairperson, said the decision was made today afternoon after the panel considered the report by a three-man team that was sent to the county last week to investigate allegations of mishandling of gubernatorial nomination results.

RESULTS REJECTED

Governor Obado’s challenger former Cabinet minister Ochillo Ayacko had disputed the results.

Other contestants for the ticket were Mrs Anne Anyanga and Mr Paul Odola.

Ms Pareno said the report recommended the upholding of the initial results by the County Returning Officer that declared Mr Obado the winner.

At the same time, the committee declared Mr Fredrick Ogega the winner of the Nyatike parliamentary seat nomination, overruling Mr Tom Odege’s victory; after reviewing official results by the county’s returning officer.

CERTIFICATES

On a positive note, Suna West MP John Ndiege had his victory as the constituency’s candidate validated.

Regarding the outcome of MCA primaries for Kisumu, the Board said “the correct list of winners and certificates will be released not later than Thursday this week”.

Additionally, Mr Philip Etale, the party’s director of communications, said nominations winners will be issued with certificates tomorrow at counties headquarters.

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Tribunal Dismisses Case Challenging Obado ODM Membership

By Maureen Kakah

The controversy surrounding Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s validity as a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party was yesterday shoved aside after the Political Disputes Tribunal dismissed the case challenging the issue.

A five-member tribunal ruled that the complainant in the case, George Odede, had not exhausted internal party mechanisms in an attempt to solve the dispute.

Consequently, the tribunal upheld arguments by ODM defending Mr Obado.

ODM had also told the tribunal that it lacked the jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter as required by law, an argument which the tribunal agreed with in their verdict.

“The preliminary objection is hereby sustained, the complainant ought to have invoked internal mechanism before approaching this tribunal, the case was therefore premature and is therefore dismissed,” they ruled.

Mr Odede, an ODM member, had moved to the tribunal in March to protest that the Governor did not formally give his former party a notice of defection before ODM.

Through lawyer Chrispin Odhiambo, he had faulted Mr Obado of violating the Political Parties Act for failing to formally give a notice of defection from the party in which he was elected on, the People’s Democratic Party, as Governor.

He had also argued that ODM might continue to have him participate in their party activities including the party nominations now set for Monday in preparations for the August 8 elections contrary to the Political parties Act, Elections Act and the Constitution.

But through lawyer Samuel Makori, ODM trashed the allegations levelled against Mr Obado as merely speculative saying that he had not violated any law by defecting in addition to the argument on jurisdiction.

ODM had also insisted that it will take into consideration vetting him if he aspires to contest as its candidate and that he had satisfactorily met all conditions set out as well as relevant national legislation before joining them.

Following the verdict, Mr Obado was granted reprieve and may continue to act as an ODM member even as he is set to battle to retain his seat on the party’s ticket with former Cabinet minister Ochillo Ayacko, Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga’s wife Anne and Mr Paul Odola.

Mr Odede had wanted the tribunal to declare him not a member of ODM, that his continued association with it is illegal and that his seat be declared vacant if he indeed resigned from PDP.

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Migori County Conducts Headcount to Weed Out Ghost Workers

By Elisha Otieno

More than 2,000 Migori County Government workers have deserted their offices to participate in a headcount to weed out ghost workers.

They lined up at the Migori stadium to have their employment letters scrutinized before being given their July salaries in cash.

Governor Okoth Obado, who oversaw the process said those who fail to turn up for the exercise will have their names removed from the payroll.

“We want to clean up our payroll as well as establish the functions of each employee… we are not here for a witch-hunt exercise,” stated the county boss.

Mr Obado particularly mentioned the County’s Health department which he described as “notorious for irregular promotions of staff and directed that 30 employees be demoted immediately.”

“I wanted to send them away but I was persuaded to retain them but they must be removed from the superior job groups acquired illegally,” said the Governor who also earned his salary in cash at the stadium after producing his documents for verification.

The exercise will run until Monday next week.

Traders got a relief after they were not charged the daily market fees since the tax collectors were among employees lining up at the stadium.

Hospitals were however affected after doctors, nurses and clinical officers deserted their facilities to be counted.

Those who were cleared however rushed back to their work stations to avert possible loss of lives.

“I have hired 1,100 employees since I assumed office and found 1,600 in the previous payrolls of the defunct local authorities and devolved national Government staff, now I have a total of 2,700 workers,” he explained.

“Our monthly wage bill has not been stable, showing a possibility of ghost workers on our payroll. We want to only retain people whom we know,” Mr Tom Kasera, the county executive member of finance said separately.

“All the employees from our eight sub-counties are going to undergo this process and any employee whose data will not be captured will be considered a ghost,” he announced.

According to a circular released by the county secretary Mr Christopher Rusana to the chief officers of various departments, a copy of which was obtained by the Nation, they want to carry out a head-count to streamline the payroll.

“Employee headcount involves physical verification of the existence of employees at each work station in the county and validation of their existence in the Government payroll. We intend to carry out a detailed employee headcount for all categories of staff – permanent and pensionable, fixed duration contracts and casual workers,” the circular said.

“The key objective of this exercise is to establish exact number of employees in our payroll and to know their monthly wage bills, to establish whether all the names in the payroll are genuine county employees and that they are physically present on the ground,” it added.

About 20,000 Women in Migori County to Get Free Cancer Screening

By Elisha Otieno

About 20,000 women from Migori County are set to benefit free screening for cervical cancer.

From this number, 2000 to 4,0000 of them will then get treatment for pre-cancer lesion, before the number being cut down to 50, who will receive free treatment.

Partners including Nation Media Group (NMG), Swiftmed Solutions among others are sponsoring the ‘Step By Step Campaign’ that hopes to raise Sh50 million to be used to fund treatment of the beneficiaries.

On Tuesday, five men – Thomas Chacha, Peter Chacha, Philip Rogoro, Daniel Chogo and Daniel Nyamohanga began the 1,000 kilometre walk from Migori to Mombasa to rise the cash.

The team will pass through Narok, Nairobi and Taita Taveta Counties and are expected to be in Mombasa in the next 34 days.

“They will pass through 13 counties to raise awareness and money to assist our mothers, daughters and sisters who are suffering from cervical cancer,” said Dr Nelly Bosire, a director at Swiftmed Solutions.

Other sponsors include Smile Woman, a community based organisation, the Migori County government and Sarova Hotels.

SET UP MEDICAL CAMPS

“From August this year, we will set up medical camps at the Migori County Referral Hospital where the surgeries will take place,” said Dr Bosire.

Mr Thomas Chacha, one of the participants in the walk, said, “We are not walking for a show or for a medal but to tell Kenyans that the disease is preventable and curable if detected early.

“It is unfortunate that we are losing productive women daily due to late diagnosis.

Mrs Hellen Obado, the Migori governor’s wife, flagged off the walk outside the governor’s office.

She said the county government was committed to setting up screening centres in all the hospitals in the region.

She said this will help women to know their status in good time.

Mrs Obado thanked the partners for “showing utmost concern to the well-being of our mothers, sisters and daughters.”

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

“This is a serious demonstration of corporate social responsibility that must be supported by all,” she noted.

Migori County Director of Health Joel Gondi said there are 209 hospitals but only 129 were offering screening services.

“We are going to roll out screening programmes in the remaining facilities soon to compliment the on-going efforts.

“With the support of the county government, we are also going to set up a cancer unit to serve the residents of Migori County who are still trooping to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment,” said Dr Gondi.

Nominated MCA Charles Wambura moved the audience with his testimony of how he has been battling lung cancer and spending over Sh3 million on treatment.

“Please avoid cancer as early as you can. It is not a disease that you should live with because it is costly and painful,” he advised.

Those willing to support the ‘Step By Step Campaign’ may send their donations through M-Pesa pay bill number 572880, account name – Step by Step.

Kenya: About 20,000 Women in Migori County to Get Free Cancer Screening

By Elisha Otieno

About 20,000 women from Migori County are set to benefit free screening for cervical cancer.

From this number, 2000 to 4,0000 of them will then get treatment for pre-cancer lesion, before the number being cut down to 50, who will receive free treatment.

Partners including Nation Media Group (NMG), Swiftmed Solutions among others are sponsoring the ‘Step By Step Campaign’ that hopes to raise Sh50 million to be used to fund treatment of the beneficiaries.

On Tuesday, five men – Thomas Chacha, Peter Chacha, Philip Rogoro, Daniel Chogo and Daniel Nyamohanga began the 1,000 kilometre walk from Migori to Mombasa to rise the cash.

The team will pass through Narok, Nairobi and Taita Taveta Counties and are expected to be in Mombasa in the next 34 days.

“They will pass through 13 counties to raise awareness and money to assist our mothers, daughters and sisters who are suffering from cervical cancer,” said Dr Nelly Bosire, a director at Swiftmed Solutions.

Other sponsors include Smile Woman, a community based organisation, the Migori County government and Sarova Hotels.

SET UP MEDICAL CAMPS

“From August this year, we will set up medical camps at the Migori County Referral Hospital where the surgeries will take place,” said Dr Bosire.

Mr Thomas Chacha, one of the participants in the walk, said, “We are not walking for a show or for a medal but to tell Kenyans that the disease is preventable and curable if detected early.

“It is unfortunate that we are losing productive women daily due to late diagnosis.

Mrs Hellen Obado, the Migori governor’s wife, flagged off the walk outside the governor’s office.

She said the county government was committed to setting up screening centres in all the hospitals in the region.

She said this will help women to know their status in good time.

Mrs Obado thanked the partners for “showing utmost concern to the well-being of our mothers, sisters and daughters.”

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

“This is a serious demonstration of corporate social responsibility that must be supported by all,” she noted.

Migori County Director of Health Joel Gondi said there are 209 hospitals but only 129 were offering screening services.

“We are going to roll out screening programmes in the remaining facilities soon to compliment the on-going efforts.

“With the support of the county government, we are also going to set up a cancer unit to serve the residents of Migori County who are still trooping to Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment,” said Dr Gondi.

Nominated MCA Charles Wambura moved the audience with his testimony of how he has been battling lung cancer and spending over Sh3 million on treatment.

“Please avoid cancer as early as you can. It is not a disease that you should live with because it is costly and painful,” he advised.

Those willing to support the ‘Step By Step Campaign’ may send their donations through M-Pesa pay bill number 572880, account name – Step by Step.

Drugs for Migori Hospitals Sold in Tanzania

By Elisha Otieno

Drugs stolen from public hospitals in Migori County are finding their way into Tanzania.

Unscrupulous medical workers are smuggling the drugs through the Isebania border, before selling them to the Tanzanian traders.

The drugs, according to the Daily Nation investigations, are then sold and stocked in private clinics, mainly in Tarime District.

Mosquito nets have not been spared either. A number of them were recently impounded by the police while on transit over the border.

The massive theft of drugs has plunged the Migori health sector into a crisis because there is a consistent shortage of drugs.

The supplies seem to be leaving the stores as soon as they arrive. The county referral hospital, health centres and dispensaries are worst hit by this racket perpetuated by the staff.

Last Monday, during the Migori County Dialogue Forum, participants criticised officials in the health sector, and demanded the personal intervention of Governor Okoth Obado, who was also at the meeting.

On Sunday, Mr Obado said he would ensure public health services “become more efficient and reliable”.

“Theft of drugs and other excuses should be a thing of the past. My people will not continue to suffer because some staff cannot tame their greed to sell government drugs … I ask members of the public to help me end the vice,” said Mr Obado.

The drugs racket, explained the county boss, has caused suffering to patients who cannot afford the cost of medication in private hospitals. Mr Obado warned any staff found stealing drugs would be sacked on the spot.

“I will not entertain foul play in my health sector and nobody will be spared if found to be contributing to the suffering of our people,” he said.

As the drug shortage continues, the malaria prevalence rate in Migori county is at 38 per cent.

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Kenya: Drugs for Migori Hospitals Sold in Tanzania

By Elisha Otieno

Drugs stolen from public hospitals in Migori County are finding their way into Tanzania.

Unscrupulous medical workers are smuggling the drugs through the Isebania border, before selling them to the Tanzanian traders.

The drugs, according to the Daily Nation investigations, are then sold and stocked in private clinics, mainly in Tarime District.

Mosquito nets have not been spared either. A number of them were recently impounded by the police while on transit over the border.

The massive theft of drugs has plunged the Migori health sector into a crisis because there is a consistent shortage of drugs.

The supplies seem to be leaving the stores as soon as they arrive. The county referral hospital, health centres and dispensaries are worst hit by this racket perpetuated by the staff.

Last Monday, during the Migori County Dialogue Forum, participants criticised officials in the health sector, and demanded the personal intervention of Governor Okoth Obado, who was also at the meeting.

On Sunday, Mr Obado said he would ensure public health services “become more efficient and reliable”.

“Theft of drugs and other excuses should be a thing of the past. My people will not continue to suffer because some staff cannot tame their greed to sell government drugs … I ask members of the public to help me end the vice,” said Mr Obado.

The drugs racket, explained the county boss, has caused suffering to patients who cannot afford the cost of medication in private hospitals. Mr Obado warned any staff found stealing drugs would be sacked on the spot.

“I will not entertain foul play in my health sector and nobody will be spared if found to be contributing to the suffering of our people,” he said.

As the drug shortage continues, the malaria prevalence rate in Migori county is at 38 per cent.

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Migori Flood Victims Get Sh1 Million Donations

By Maurice Alal

The Israeli government has donated items worth Sh1 million to more than 1,000 families affected by floods in Migori county.

The Israeli and Kenyan governments have hinted at starting programmes to increase food security in the region.

Israeli Ambassador Yahel Vilan on Monday donated three bulls, 100 bags of maize, 44 bags of beans, 400 blankets, 192 gumboots, 35 bags of sugar, cooking oil, six water tanks, 200 mosquito nets and a solar water heater.

Speaking at the Nyora evacuation camp in Nyatike subcounty, he said the Israeli government has developed a friendship with Migori.

Vilan said his government will partner with the county in development.

“It is possible to use proper irrigation methods in this area and get adequate water for farming and advance technology in agriculture. We have donated the bulls as a sign of sharing during this festive season,” he said.

Nyatike has been badly affected by the El Niño rains.

More than 1,000 families have lost property, livestock were killed, crops swept away and houses flattened.

At least 50 families have been moved to evacuation camps in Nyora and Kabuto primary schools.

Governor Okoth Obado said Nyatike can be the food basket of Migori county with proper irrigation.

“The area is so vast and can produce a lot of food. Our people lack enough water for crop production. If irrigation is applied here, poverty will be a thing of the past,” he said.

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Migori Health Staff Toss Out Patients

By Manuel Odeny

A six year old girl who was burnt a few days ago was taken from her Rongo District Hospital bed by striking medics and left at the gate.

Margaret Genevieve’s mother was forced to take the injured girl to Royal Hospital, a private facility in Rongo town.

This was one of the scenes in the three-day-old strike by health workers in Migori county.

Yesterday they defied Governor Okoth Obado’s orders to call off the strike and report to work by 8am.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Obado said all health workers who do not report by then should consider themselves fired.

But yesterday the Star found wards in Migori County Referral Hospital, the biggest facility in the county, closed as medics kept away.

In Rongo District Hospital, medics reacted to Obado’s statement by removing patients from wards and urging others to be discharged.

Workers are demanding promotions, payment of salary arrears for doctors hired in May, better working conditions and an end to harassment by county government officers.

But Obado said the demands are not genuine and he will not give in to them as the county does not have money.

“Migori county government has given enough support to the health docket. Unfortunately, I have not seen better services coming out from the investment,” he said.

Obado accused health workers of stealing drugs from hospitals and harassing patients, despite Sh10 million provided for health structural improvement.

Catherine Tingo, a nurses’ union official, refused to say if the strike had been called off.

Health workers told the press union officials held a closed meeting with Obado late into Tuesday night and used social media to call off the strike.

But the medics said they will only call off the strike through their union leaders after the county government gives in to their demands.

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