COVID 19 RESPONSE TEAM THREATENS STRIKE ACTION IF THEIR DEMANDS ARE NOT MET
Written By Madi Njie
Covid 19 Front Health Workers comprising Staff working under the Covid 19 Rapid Response Team, Contact Tracing, Laboratory Services and the Quarantine Centre today convened a Press Briefing at the Central Medical Stores, calling on the Senior Management of the Gambia’s Ministry of Health to consider their plights, without which they will convene a meeting on 9 July 2020, to decide strike action.
The Health Staff are demanding for daily allowances, of D750 to be paid, dating back from January 2020 when the Covid 19 Campaign started. They also among others are asking for their Health Insurance, accommodation, and allowances to be paid by their line Ministry.
The Gambia has so far registered 63 cases of Cornavirus cases. 32 patients have recovered, and 3 died. One of the demised patients was a health worker.
In his welcoming remarks, Seyfo Singhatey, Covid 19 Response Team Member said Feeding and Accommodation and other listed concerns are major concerns to their teams..
He said the death of one their colleague- Maw Ceesay triggered the quest for them to have health insurance in case of any death among them, for their families to benefit.
Mr Singhatey said if their concerns are not addressed, it will just be like Soldiers that lay down their weapons in a battle field, and allow opponents to invade.
Madam Fatou Jah in her remarks said they have been channeling their concerns through the top Senior Management of the Gambian Health Ministry to ensure efficient service delivery, but they just have been receiving mere promises, and nothing much has been done. She said earlier this month they had a meeting with the Permanent Secretary, but their situation remains the same.
She said among others that Health Insurance, Feeding, Accommodations and Allowances for Frontliners should be provided, and must not be compromised, and are non-negotiation.
She extended condolence to their colleague Dr Maw Ceesay who was battling against Covid 19 until he succumbs to his death of Corona Virus recently.
She said since the beginning of the Covid 19 campaign Frontliners received only D5000 from the Health Ministry. She said they made inquiries but has not gotten what they wanted regarding allowances from their Senior Management Team.
She said if the Ministry does not respond to their demands until 9 July, they will reconvene another meeting to decide appropriate action.
Musa Nget also Covid 19 Response Team Member also reiterated similar sentiments, calling on the line ministry to respond to their demands, otherwise they will convene a meeting on 9 July 2020, to decide to lay down their Covid 19 materials and concentrate on their normal health duties.