August 14, 2013

Kaabong: Doctors Strike Over Appointments

Dozens of patients seeking treatment are stranded at Kaabong Hospital in Kaabong district following a sit-down strike by doctors that started Tuesday morning.

Doctors James Kisambu, Sheriff Nalibe and Charity Oneko are protesting what they describe as unfair appointments by Kaabong district local government.

The three doctors have vowed not return to work unless the district authorities justify several issues specifically on appointments.

Sources indicate that the appointment of an enrolled nurse Timothy Loupe as  the District Health Director is the cause of the sit-down strike.

The doctors reportedly want Samuel Kaija, the Chief Administrative Officer, to explain how Loupe secured the appointment. They also want an explanation from the political head of the district Joseph Komol to explain why Dr. James Kisambu was sent on forced leave for six months, yet he was the substantive Acting Health Director.

John Lokwee Jujan, the Assistant Chief Administrative Office could neither deny nor confirm the strike. He does confirm that the doctors tendered in their letter to down tools to the Chief Administrative Office on Monday if no action was taken. He also concedes Dr. James Kisambu’s longer than usual forced leave could be an issue.  He says negotiations are going on with the doctors to convince them to resume work.

Efforts to get a comment from the Kaabong Chief Administrative Officer Samuel Kaija were futile as his phone went unanswered. The District Internal Security Officer standing in for the Resident District Commissioner who is on leave was shaky when contacted. He pleaded not to discuss the matter on phone. The Kaabong district Chairperson Joseph Komol’s phone was unavailable.

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