LIBERIA: Margibi Health Workers Threaten Strike Action Monday, If…

In the face of the devastating state of the Liberian health sector occasioned by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, health workers in Margibi County have threatened to join their colleagues of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia in a strike action Monday, if the Liberian Government fails to reinstate three of their union officials.

The health workers are also demanding government to create a conducive working environment for Liberian health workers to prevent them from contracting the deadly Ebola virus and other infectious diseases while discharging their functions.

Presenting the Margibi County Health Workers’ position statement to the county authorities over the weekend in Kakata, the acting secretary of the Margibi County branch of the National Health Workers Association of Liberia, Miss Catherine Davis, said their planned strike action is based on a unanimous decision of members of the union in order to draw central government’s attention to their demands.

The Liberia News Agency quotes Miss Catherine Davis as saying that if the Government of Liberia fails to reinstate their union officials who were dismissed in February due to the leadership role they played during the Union's last strike; provide better incentives and create a conducive working environment for health workers, they will certainly embark on their planned strike as of Monday.

The Margibi health workers said since February this year, they have received many vague assurances from government in addressing their plight but to no avail.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in Margibi County to date it has claimed the lives of over 25 health workers in the county.

Receiving the health workers’ position statement on behalf of the Superintendent of Margibi County, the County Inspector, Tarr Sackie, pleaded with the health workers to reconsider their decision and call off their planned strike action.

Mr. Sackie said authorities of Margibi County were doing everything humanly possible to address some of their concerns.

At the same time, the Margibi County Acting County Health Officer has made a passionate appeal to health workers in the county to abort their strike action.

Dr. Adolphus Yeiah said the healthcare delivery system of the entire country was at a crossroads now and that their going on strike will further exacerbate the situation, especially with the looming threat caused by the Ebola virus in the country.

He said while the health workers' plight was genuine, they must also put the interest of their country first and see reason to continue the dialogue with government in addressing their concerns.
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He said the country was facing a strange medical phenomenon which requires the full attention of all medical practitioners in the country now, noting that going on strike will cause a serious setback in the gains being made by government and international partners in the fight against the Ebola virus in the country.

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