STAFF SHORTAGE

NMS hires 1,691 healthcare workers for 24 hospitals

Mama Lucy and Mathare-Korogocho get 989; 702 sent to Levels 2 and 3 hospitals

In Summary

• Of 1,691 health workers, 989 were to report to Mama Lucy and Mathare-Korogocho hospitals on Monday.

• Of the remaining 702, 117 have been sent to nine, Level 2 hospitals, which will have 13 workers each; 585 will be deployed in 15, Level 3 hospitals, each getting 39 staffers.

Kiamaiko Dispensary built by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service which was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on February 12, 2021
Kiamaiko Dispensary built by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service which was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on February 12, 2021
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

Nairobi Metropolitan Services has hired 1,691 health care workers for 24 hospitals, some new built or upgraded. 

Of the new workers, 989 were to report to Mama Lucy and Mathare Korogocho hospitals on Monday. Mama Lucy received 388 staffers, while Mathare-Korogoho received 601. It is being refurbished by NMS. 

The Public Service Commission sent 702 workers to nine Level 2 hospitals, each getting 13 healthcare workers. Another 585 staffers will be deployed to the 15 Level 3 hospitals, each getting 39.

They include nurses, specialist nurses, medical officers, clinical officers and lab technicians.

Out of the 24 hospitals, four have been commissioned and are operating—Muthua-Uthiru, Kiamaiko-New Mathari, Ushirika-Dandora and Soweto-Kayole.

Two other hospitals, Gatina-Kawangware and Gichagi-Kangemi, are complete and will soon be commissioned. Mukuru kwa Reuben, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Riruta-Satelite and Lunga Lunga are almost completed.

NMS was directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to build 19 new health facilities, each for Sh70 million; another five were to be rehabilitated for Sh300 million. Ten out of the 19 new facilities are Level 2 hospitals, the remaining nine are Level 3.

In October last year, NMS said it would hire more than 1,400 healthcare workers as Nairobi was battling the second wave of  Covid-19. The number hired includes the 1,400.

The 1,400 were to include 619 nursing officers, 116 medical laboratory technicians and 173 clinical officers.

Also targeted were 130 medical officers, 44 specialists, 65 assistant health records and information management officers, 51 nutrition and diet technologists, 245 pharmaceutical technologists III, 38 specialised care nurses and 30 specialised clinical officers, among others.

In June, NMS recruited 225 health workers to fight Covid-19. They included doctors, nurses and clinical officers hired on three-year contracts.

“When we took over from City Hall, we noted a shortage of health workers. Many hospitals relied on locums [temporaries].We had to recruit more," NMS director for health services Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said at the time.

Shortage of medical staff is a major issue in Nairobi.

Before health services were transferred to NMS, City Hall said it only had 3,300 health workers, including cleaners and drivers. However, the actual number was only 2,750.

(Edited by V. Graham)