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Woman Rep tear gassed at hospital protest

The striking workers maintained that they will not resume their duties until their dues are paid.

Police fired tear gas at Isiolo Referral Hospital where workers protested delayed salaries

Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa was tear gassed outside Isiolo Referral Hospital where the MP was meeting protesting employees.

Police stormed the hospital where casual staff were protesting that their salaries had been delayed for six months.

The group comprises contracted cleaners and security guards attached to the facility.

“You cannot threaten me for representing my people, I am doing my job,” she told one of the police bosses at the scene.

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The hospital employees said the governor had not offered any help as she went on to tell off the uniformed officers.

The staff also protested that they have been employed on a casual basis for more than 20 years.

According to Health Chief Officer Ibrahim Alio,the county is yet to process funds for the last four months following the delay by the national treasury to release funds to the devolved units .

Two days before, the employees had staged a protest at the County Secretary’s offices in Isiolo.

The striking workers maintained that they will not resume their duties until their dues are paid.

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They have blamed the delays on the company which was contracted to recruit them.

“Where is our governor, why are we being treated this way as he watches yet during the last elections we voted for him,” one of the workers said.

“I have a house that has to be paid, my children are in school among other needs. The governor should tell us whether or not we are his constituents,” another added.

Medical Crisis

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Isiolo County has recorded more than 559 Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths as the health system struggles to handle the rising cases.

Residents have recently reported cases of people dying from Covid-19-related complications but the health department insists the causes of death were not confirmed.

Reduced testing and delayed results have been blamed for the increasing cases of infection in the county as contact tracing has become difficult.

Health Chief Officer Ibrahim Alio asked residents not to drop the guard in observing guidelines for curbing the spread of the virus, warning that the county could report more cases if more tests are done.

A big number of those admitted to the ICU, he said, were people with underlying conditions.

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The chief officer said the increasing number of patients being admitted at the ICU had overwhelmed the facility but that plans were underway to deploy more staff to the critical treatment centre.

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