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All logic aside, Kenya  Government defends dismissals, arguing that strikes endanger patients' lives.  So they fired them instead but only the not-richer people will be affected.

The nurses working for Government run hospitals have a union.  The hospitals for the richer people have nurses that are not in the union.  

Really?  The Government couldn't strike a deal with the strikers?  The strike was only three days old!

From Al Jazeera

It started last November.  

Oh, Kenya.  

From World Bulletin

Frustration has been mounting in Kenya at the high cost of food and fuel, in particular.  

Kenya's inflation rate slowed for the third consecutive month to 16.7 percent in February, after reaching 20 percent in November.

Orina said, on average, a health worker earns about 25,000 shillings ($300) a month in salary and allowances, and this amount was likely to double if their demand for higher allowances were met.

Private hospitals and clinics, where richer families send their sick, have opened as usual because their nurses are not members of the strikers' union.

($1 = 82.7500 Kenyan shillings)

Well, only the not-richer families need to worry, now that their health care facilities are at a stand still.  In essence then, the strikers have shut down their own health care options.

The Nurses Union actually cut a deal with the government.

But on March 6, Kenyan nurses reject the union & bosses deal and continue striking

Angry nurses from Nairobi, the Capital of Kenya, stated that:

“We were not consulted and there is nothing that has been put on the table. They are just promises so we have said we are not going back without food on the table”.

“We are not convinced by the deal reached, the negotiations had no gains for us and we feel duped. For this reason, we will continue with the strike until all our grievances are met. We cannot take any more promises.

We want immediate tangible gains,”

The nurses have vowed to remain on strike until their demands have been met in full. I will post updates as I find them.

These health professionals simply want a living wage which, with 16-20% inflation, they simply don't have.

Kenya is the 47th most corrupt country in the world.  It's a family's monthly budget lineitem.  The nurses have to put aside bribe money each month as well. The average urban Kenyan has to pay 16 bribes a month to get his regular affairs arranged.

The crux of the Kenyan Government stupidity of sacking 25,000 Kenyan nurses is the reality that African trained medical personnel are leaving Africa in droves for greener pastures.  It is another African resource drain:  

Africa has been particularly badly hit as measures from wealthy countries to encourage skilled workers to emigrate have stripped African countries, particularly in sub-saharan regions, of up to 75% of their physicians (Mozambique) and up to 82% of nurses.

"They seek better employment and quality of life. Income is an important motivation for migration [as well as] better working conditions, career opportunities and more job satisfaction," Sigrun Mogedal, one of the conference organisers, said.

Across the continent, Africa has 11% of the world population and 24% of the global burden of disease, but only 3% of the world’s health workers.

Nine countries, including Britain, the US, France, South Africa, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Australia and Portugal, received the vast majority of all migration from Africa – 92.4%, amounting to over 65,000 people in the year 2000 (the most recent figures available).

Britain has been particularly active in Kenya, recruiting the vast majority of the 51% of healthcare workers which have left the country, leaving many of those injured in recent fighting around the elections unable to find medical help.

What too few are willing to admit is the potential reality that workers everywhere, yes here, will be paid less as "supply and demand" can be filled with trained professionals from 3rd world country.

The peoples of Africa, South America, Asia, India, and the rest of the 3rd world have survived injustices we are beginning to understand even though many in our country face huge hurdles at birth as well.

Ah, Globalization.

Maybe can all become one big Happy Rational Peasant Family someday.

Originally posted to War on Error on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 07:03 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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