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Thousands more nurses needed

18 April 2013, 14:14 Wangui Joseph

Kenya is experiencing a shortage of 151 000 nurses in order to have quality health care services to every person, National Nurses Association of Kenya Chairman Jeremiah Maina said on Wednesday.  

Maina said there are 13 000 permanently employed nurses currently and an addition of 8 000 who were employed under economic stimuli.

The chairman said the country needs at least 172 000 nurses to serve the more than 40Million Kenyans.

He made the remarks at a Nyeri hotel during a press conference where he also thanked the court for giving them a go-ahead to forming the nurses union.

“The government is busy building more hospitals so that people can access health services quickly, but it is not considering who will offer those services,” said Maina.

He however said nurses should be permanently employed and the contract system abolished so that employees can feel secure.

One nurse currently attending to 300 people

“More nurses should be recruited for better public services. Comparatively, one nurse is currently attending to 300 people according to the last population census,” Maina revealed.

He appreciated the industrial court’s ruling that allowed for the formation of their trade union saying it is a good start to the new government.

“That was just a beginning of good things with the new government, more are in the offing,” said Maina.

However, Maina claimed that they are ready to offer mobile health services provided the government will be able to uphold it to benefit its people.

“Should more nurses are deployed, no reason would bar us from attending patients at their residential homes,” he stated.

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