By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – Nurses and midwives under their umbrella organization the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council (UNMC) have decided to call off their looming strike after entering an agreement with the government.
Accordingly, the strike was canceled after the government earmarked UGX44.9 billion towards providing a daily lunch allowance of UGX10,000 for 22 days. Initially, the nurses wanted the government to provide UGX70 billion towards their lunch allowance.
The nurses, last week swore to go on strike until government assigns the money. The nurses at the time had agreed to put down their tools since their lunch was an unfunded priority in the FY 2021/2022 budget ratified by parliament last week.
Besides, the President of the UNMC, Justus Cherop Kiplangat, says they have cancelled the strike because they believe the government will honor its pledge to them.
“We talked to them and they promised to give us some money,” Kiplangat said, adding that “It's not what we wanted, but it's better than nothing. We hope to get the balance later on.”
Kiplangat says nurses countrywide should stay at their stations and continue working.
Additionally, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Healthcare said government acknowledges the work of health workers especially nurses because “they are our biggest workforce and are leading the fight against COVID-19 through vaccinating the people. We have agreed with the union that the strike be called off so that our health workers go to work as we look for finances to cater for their lunch.”