Covid-19 frontline health workers put forward demands

Jul 10, 2020, 11:46 AM | Article By: Fatou Dem

Fatou Jah, the spokesperson of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team under the Ministry of Health has strongly urged the government to help them with allowances among others amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have tried on several occasions to dialogue with top senior management of the Health Ministry with a view to channel our challenges to the top management in order to have a successful and efficient service delivery but to no avail as the situation remains the same,” Ms. Jah said in a press release she read on behalf of the team.

“We want our demands to be met so that we can continue on the COVID-19 response,” she said.

She was speaking on Wednesday during a press conference at the Central Medical Stores in Kotu. The meeting they said was necessitated by the death of a health worker who contacted the deadly covid-19 virus recently.

The demands of the frontline health workers include; allowances, health insurance for front line responders, feeding, accommodation among others.

Frontline responders, she explained, have been encountering a lot of challenges since the inception of the response on COVID-19 in the country. “I can tell you that since the registration of the first confirmed case in the country on the 17th March 2020, frontline workers only received D5000 in April 2020.”

She added: “We engaged the Permanent Secretary through an email asking him how much allowances will be paid to frontline workers, at what rate and when it will be paid? In his response, he indicated that payments will be made based on risk stratification.”

“If we didn’t get any feedback from the Ministry of Health, we will converge another meeting where decisions will be made on our move towards the COVID-19 response activities,” she emphasised.

Musa Nget, Chairman of the frontline workers added.

“It's difficult to stay for 24 hours on duties without having something to eat and to the extent that you have to buy your own sugar to sip tea.  

Even with this it doesn’t stop us from doing our job effectively due to the love of the country and to make sure everyone is protected. However, my health comes first before any other person.”