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Kenyan Doctors Continue Strike Over Poor Public Hospital Conditions

Doctors in Kenya on Wednesday were striking for the 17th day to protest poor conditions in some of the nation’s public hospitals, where “[e]mergency rooms … frequently don’t have gloves or medicine, and power outages sometimes force doctors to use the light from their phones to complete a procedure,” the Associated Press reports. Last week, “Kenya’s government fired 1,000 of the 2,000 striking doctors … despite a shortfall of skilled medical practitioners,” the news service writes, noting Kenya has one doctor for every 6,250 people and the WHO recommendation is one for every 100 people. “Attempts to hold talks this week with officials from the Ministry for Medical Services failed, prompting the doctors to flood social media with tell-all stories about deplorable conditions in public hospitals,” the AP states.

“Doctors want the government to spend more money on health care, including hiring more workers,” according to the AP, which adds the WHO “says Kenya and several other countries in Africa have not met a pledge made in 2000 to increase their health budgets to 15 percent of their national budgets by 2010.” The news service notes “Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy, has set aside six percent of the total budget” (Odula, 10/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.