Tanzania offers 500 doctors to ease Kenya health crisis
Tanzania on Saturday agreed to send 500 doctors to Kenya after a 100-day doctors’ strike that paralyzed health services in the neighbouring country.
President John Magufuli announced the decision after meeting a Kenyan delegation in Dar es Salaam headed by health minister Cleopa Mailu.
“The difficulties of Kenya are the difficulties of Tanzania. We agree to send you these 500 doctors to provide care to our brothers,” Magafuli said in a statement.
Some 5,000 doctors at Kenya’s public hospitals stopped working in December to demand better pay and conditions. The strike only ended on Tuesday.
“As you assure me that you will pay the required salaries to my doctors and give them housing, that they will work in good conditions, I have no problem,” Magufuli said.
There was no information as to when the doctors would be deployed or how long they would stay in Kenya.
But Tanzania’s health minister Umy Mwalimu said the doctors would be sent to Kenya “as soon as possible”.
Some Kenyan doctors are yet to return to work despite an agreement with the government, and medical workers are struggling to deal with the backlog of patients.