South Sudan COVID-19 Health Workers Call Off Strike

COVID-19 frontline health workers during a press conference in Juba on June 13, 2021(Photo: Awan Achiek)

By Awan Achiek

COVID-19 frontline health workers have called off their strikeover unpaid incentives citing humanitarian grounds.

“The COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers sat down and agreed to reconsider and end the peaceful strike on humanitariangrounds,” said Abraham Ajok, Data Manager in the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre during Sunday’s press conference in Juba.

Each health worker is entitled to monthly incentive of 2,500 U.S dollars but these incentives have not been paid for the past 9 months.

The health workers last week denied calling off their long-running strike that started on May 27th. This contradicted officials in the ministry of health who had announced reaching deal with the striking health workers. 

Ajok urged the presidency to ensure their grievances are addressed.

“The COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers call on South Sudan’s Presidency to look into the concerns of the neglected COVID-19 frontline workers,” said Ajok.

“It is on this basis that we call for the intervention of the top leadership to protect the rights of the COVID-19 healthcare workers,” he added.

Ajok said that they held several meetings with senior officials from the ministry of health but these did not yield positive results.

He revealed that they will continue engaging the ministry of health to pay their outstanding incentives.

“South Sudan is very weak to manage COVID-19 invested resources, and thus there is need for accountability and auditing to avoid the misuse and mismanagement of resources by the ministry of health and national taskforce,” said Agok.

Dr. Mayen Machut Achiek, Undersecretary Ministry of Health promised to address the grievances of frontline healthcare workers.

“We had negotiations and we feel we came to a nice consensus,we definitely considered what they are asking for as genuine,” said Machut.

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