The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Phebe, CB Dunbar Abandoned - Strike Action Continues in Bong

Health workers in Bong County on Monday joined their colleagues across the country on an indefinite strike action.

No Nurses were at Phebe Hospital in Bong County - Monday, Feb. 17, 2014C.B. Dunbar Hospital in Gbarnga was empty on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014

The Health workers, who have maintained that they would not return to job until their plights are addressed, rejected any intervention by the authorities of Bong County.

Among increment in salaries, better incentives, as well as proper working conditions, among others, the health workers are also demanding the resignation of Health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Walter T. Gwenigalee and the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia Dr. Bernice Dahn.

Our reporter, who visited the biggest referral hospital in the county, Phebe, observed an abandoned facility, with only hospital administrators visible during the morning hours at which time most of the nurses, physician assistants and midwives go to job. A visiting medical team at the hospital from abroad is currently at the hospital providing some health services on a very low scale.

Most of the rooms were almost empty with many in-patients making their way out of the hospital to seek medication from private health facilities drug stores. Some, who spoke to our correspondent, said they had no alternative, but to depend on God for healing.

"Only God we are now asking to assist us because what is happening is far beyond our control," one of the patients stated in a very sad tune.

At the C. B. Dumbar Maternal Hospital there were no nurses and midwives on duty - a hospital, which caters to pregnant women and children.

Bong County Superintendent Madam Selena Polson Mappy admonished the health workers to return to work as the government was working assiduously to bring the situation under absolute control.

Madam Mappy expressed the belief that the abandonment of health facilities was a serious embarrassment to the local county leadership even though it was a national action, reminding the health workers about the death of one of their colleagues' mother during their first strike action last year.

She noted that the action would greatly affect ordinary citizens. Bong County Health Officer Dr. Sampson Arzoaquoi described the situation as regrettable.

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