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Liberian doctors halt strike, public cautions on DR Congo Ebola outbreak

Jos Garneo Cephas/Edward Tamba
File: President George Weah meeting with national health workers recently.
File: President George Weah meeting with national health workers recently.

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Health workers, including medical directors across Liberia under the banner Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) demanding the reinstatement of doctors removed from government’s payroll have agreed to back down on their strike action.

As part of the agreements, all parties agreed and signed an eight count resolution to reinstate the doctors, while the Health Ministry has agreed to make full payment of arrears of doctors placed on ghost list within the next two weeks, among others.

The LMDA said the conditions will allow them to soften their stance to give government time to see how their demands will be implemented. “But failure by government to adhere to the counts we agreed on, we will revert to another go-slow action”.   

The concerned health workers from all government run health centers across Liberia since Sunday, May 13, 2018, embarked on the strike action.

The latest decision of the LMDA to temporarily call off the strike action and return to work was reached when a meeting between the Legislative Committee on Health, the leadership of the aggrieved health workers, and the Minister of Health, Wilhelmina Jallah, was held Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at the JFK Memorial Hospital in Monrovia.

At the same time, health authorities and partners in Liberia are closely monitoring the recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR). As of may 14, 2018, 39 Ebola cases have been reported, of which two have been confirmed with 25 probable and 12 suspected, while 19 have died from the outbreak in that country.

Among those died is one health worker, while three are among the suspected cases.

A release issued by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) says the current outbreak in the DR Congo has not been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The release quotes NPHIL Director-General, Tolbert Nyenswah,as saying the arduous task of preventing, detecting and rapidly responding to public health threats of both local and international concern will continue to be the hallmark of the government.

According to the release, the public is cautioned not to panic but it is important, however, for the public to comply with Universal Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) safety measures, including regular hand washing.


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