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Kenya: Court rules doctors strike 'illegal'

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Kenya's Labour Relations Court has declared the doctors strike in the country illegal and ordered them to resume work immediately, reports say.

The strike, which began more than a week ago, has paralysed medical services in public hospitals across the country and is so far believed to have led to the deaths of about 20 people.

Private medical providers are also expected to join in the industrial action in solidarity with their counterparts in the public sector, crippling medical provision yet further.

Doctors and nurses in public hospitals have downed their tools until the government increases their pay.

They want a 300% pay rise for doctors and 25% to 40% for nurses, as part of a collective bargaining agreement signed with the government in 2013.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has rejected a pay offer for some of the lowest-paid doctors.

But the union said some members had been mobilised to treat victims of Sunday's fuel tanker explosion in Naivasha, which killed 39 people, the Star reported.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has also urged doctors to return to work.