The electioneering frenzy that has gripped the country has pushed the ongoing nurses’ strike to the back burner, yet this is a more urgent matter that touches on the lives of many.
For more than a month now, the nurses have been out on the streets demanding the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement that awarded them a substantial pay rise.
But the agreement has been contested by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, which insists that nurses have already benefited from a pay increase awarded to other civil servants earlier in the year.
The SRC says the CBA signed by governors is unrealistic and unsustainable and, therefore, void.
But the nurses will accept nothing other than the CBA award.
In the ensuing standoff, the public health facilities that serve the bulk of the population, have ground to a halt, given the critical tasks the nurses perform in medical care.
Matters are worse in places such as Nairobi, now struck by a cholera outbreak, because there are practically no staff to perform the critical nursing services.
The government must intervene to resolve this matter.
Health is devolved to the counties, but the national government cannot keep quiet when that matter has reached such crisis levels.
President Uhuru Kenyatta needs to intervene to resolve the matter.
We need an immediate resolution to the stalemate.