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Health Workers Go On Strike In Liberia

Health Workers Go On Strike In Liberia

Walter Gwenigale, Liberian Health Minister, on Monday in Monrovia, said health workers had embarked on strike, demanding for better pay and protective equipment against Ebola Virus Disease.

The minister told newsmen that the workers were also asking government to reinstate two of its officials who were sacked from their jobs after calling a two-week strike in February.

Gwenigale said in some parts of the country, all hospitals and clinics have closed down.

He then said that the health workers would get adequate benefits, but ruled out reinstating the two officials.

He warned that “the workers, who are insisting that their officials be reinstated before they return to work must be prepared to stay at home forever.’’

The Health Workers’ Association said it wanted government to pay members a higher risk fee and reinstate two of its officials who were sacked from their jobs after calling a two-week strike in February.

They said government had promised to pay nurses and doctors assistants working at regular hospitals 300 dollars a month in risk benefits, while those working at Ebola treatment units would get 450 to 500 dollars.

They said the benefits were due to start running in September but have yet to be paid.

They also said they have lost more than 100 health workers to the outbreak.

Medical experts expressed concern that the strike would exacerbate the already alarming situation in Liberia.

They called on the government to take urgent steps toward recalling the strike workers for the security of the country.

The Ebola virus has killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa since it was identified in March.

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