Nurses on strike again!

Sep 2, 2021, 12:19 PM

Health is wealth. And there can be no meaningful development in the absence of a thriving and vibrant health care system.

To ensure quality in the country’s health care system, there is need for motivated and well-inspired hard working doctors and nurses if the country is to make any meaningful headway.

It is in the news that nurses in The Gambia have threatened to embark on an indefinite sit-down strike from Friday. These would-be striking nurses have put forward certain demands which if not met, would would warrant their strike action. This is not the first time nurses have threatened to embark on sit down strike. It could be recalled that they also made similar threats last year.

Among the demands is better working conditions and allowance increment from D2000 to D4000 for nurse attendants, SEN,RN etc.

At a recent press confab, officials of The Gambia Nurses and Midwives Association said the working condition of nurses and their remunerations in the country leaves much to be desired.

They also argued that nurses are lowly paid and under protected against infection, under protected against working colleagues and they are under protected even against the public.  They also claimed that several nurses in the country were maltreated and the matter was reported to the Ministry and nothing was done.

In fact, a nurse was assaulted at the ministry and the matter was taken to court but the ministry failed to take any disciplinary action against the perpetrator.

This clearly indicates that matters of nurses are not taken seriously by the Ministry of Health.

To put the issue in the right context, let’s create a conducive working environment for our health care workers. Health care workers play vital role in any nation development.

Despite the stress of the covid-19 pandemic, some of these gallant men and women especially those in the frontline have remained focused and steadfast in caring for covid-patients.

Government and ministry should swiftly reconsider their allowance and remuneration schemes to motivate them.

What is even a concern to some frontline workers is that they’re not only concerned about their patients and one another, they also feared bringing the disease home to family during the height of the pandemic. So their sacrifice and courage and above all love for country should be recognised at all times.

Gone are the days when monkeys work and baboons eat.

Thumbs up for our brave and indefatigable nurses and healthcare workers for their efforts in caring for patients over the past year amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The working conditions of nurses and their remunerations in the country need to be looked into. Government should intervene and avert this looming sit down strike before it gets out of hand. The country can’t afford to sit and watch this strike to go ahead.

A word for a wise is enough!

"Becoming a nurse is one of the most selfless acts a person can undertake. In a society of so many differerent races, cultures, customs,and beliefs, nurses are a universal gift to all,and the dedicated work that they do and kindness they deliver on a daily basis should serve as a reminder of the fundamental humanity inside us all

Ariel Jocoby

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