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Clinical officers in row with pharmacists

As more Kenyans suffer due to the ongoing health workers’ strike, the union of clinical officers yesterday fired a salvo at pharmacists for “belittling” them during their press briefing on Friday.

Mr Albert Taiti, the chairman of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, said it was regrettable that the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya portrayed them as people who cannot prescribe drugs.

“We regrettably learnt of the malicious and unprofounded (sic) statement by the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya yesterday (Friday) through the media where our cadre was portrayed as incompetent and not qualified to prescribe, a duty we are not only lawfully allowed to perform… but also we have been doing so since 1928,” said Mr Taiti.

On Friday, the pharmaceutical society’s president Paul Mwaniki, (below), while saying his union would stop issuing drugs, said the medicines they issue are “handled by people who are not competent”.

The clinical officers are demanding an apology from Mr Mwaniki or they take the matter to court.

Meanwhile, the Nakuru County government has recruited 50 more health workers to reinforce the more than 200 hired earlier this month following the strike as the strike by Nakuru County nurses and other health workers entered its 23rd day yesterday.

The county government has also commenced terminating those on strike after they defied the December 21 deadline to resume work.

Nakuru County Public Service Board Chairman Mutiti Waithanji said the first batch of the recruits had reported to work by yesterday.

MOVE WITH SPEED

“The health workers who are still on strike should know we are going to take a serious step and it will begin by not paying their December salaries,” said Mr Mr Waithanji.

Elsewhere,the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Wilson Aruasa has petitioned the government to move with speed and end the ongoing doctors’ strike.

Dr Aruasa said the less fortunate people in the society are not able to afford medication in private hospitals.

“The government should immediately hold talks with the striking doctors and ensure that the strike ends soon just in the same case as nurses,” said Dr Aruasa at the hospital yesterday after receiving Christmas gifts on behalf of sick children from the Shoe4Africa and Singh community.

Reporting by Elvis Ondieki, Magdalene Wanja, Gerald Bwisa and Brenda Gamonde

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