Liberia: 'No Equipment, No Work' - Aggrieved Health Workers Responding to COVID-19 Plan Go-Slow

Monrovia — A leaked document in the possession of FrontPageAfrica has revealed that healthcare workers in Liberia are threatening to go-slow if the Ministry of Health does not provide them the essential medical equipment by this week.

The aggrieved health workers said while they are carrying out a "critical task" to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and the issue of their risk-benefit remains unclear, they are being criticized by Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah.

The health workers' warning comes after a "poorly approached statement" by Minister Jallah against them.

They referenced the Wednesday, July 8, edition of the FrontPageAfrica newspaper which quotes Minister Jallah as saying, "Nurses were careless and deny the existence of the coronavirus, for which they are coming down with the infection".

The health workers have viewed such a statement as a disrespect to them and their families. They are now demanding an apology from Minister Jallah.

They said that some of their colleagues have contracted the virus not because they are "careless and are in denial" but due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs).

According to the health workers, since the inception of the George Weah's administration, they continue to face challenges due to the lack of medical equipment and drugs - a situation that put them at risk when responding infectious diseases.

Health workers, commenting on their social media platform, said the lack of essential medical equipment is reason some of their colleagues are getting infected with COVID-19.

They said their concerns have been presented to Minister Jallah on several occasions, but she has paid "deaf ear" to challenges hindering their performance.

Some healthcare workers have threatened to stay away from work until President Weah dismiss Minister Jallah.

Some of the health workers assigned at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center have also pointed accusing fingers at Dr. Jerry Browne, Chief Medical Officer, for "compromising the interest of paramedics".

Some of the aggrieved paramedics contend that they cannot be sacrificing their lives to safe others amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, while Dr. Jallah and other health stakeholders continue to ignore their welfare.

They stressed that their paramount need is to have PPEs, which is "lacking" at various health centers.

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