Liberian health workers begin a nationwide strike over pay

Liberian health workers begin a nationwide strike over pay

More than 11,000 health workers in Liberia have begun a nationwide strike over pay and lack of equipment.

Some people have not been paid for six months, the secretary-general of the Liberian health workers’ association George Williams said.

He added that they don’t even have basic equipment, like disposable gloves, they need to do their jobs.

“Essential drugs are out of the facilities; so when you go now, you are given prescriptions to go buy on the counter. We also do not have laboratory equipment. We can’t do a simple malaria smear right now,” he said.

A phone radio-in show in the capital Monrovia has been inundated with health workers’ complaints.

A midwife told Roots FM that women have died during childbirth at the hospital she works at in the western town of Tubmanburg because of the lack of a particular drug that is needed to stop bleeding during delivery.

“We have to use our phone lights when there is no electricity,” another health worker at a hospital in Monrovia said.

The radio station added that the strike has already had an impact on services.

Pregnant women had blocked a key intersection in the eastern part of Monrovia because they were turned away from a clinic were workers were on strike, the station said.

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