Some frontline healthcare workers the Coronavirus isolation center in Northern Bahr El Ghazal are threatening to lay down their tools if the government do not clear their three-month incentives.
“I am just requesting our government plus WHO to pay us in three days’ time, otherwise we are going to close the center and go home because we are tired of them,” said a healthcare worker.
The 29 healthcare workers – comprising of nurses, clinical officers and lab technicians – were recently contracted by World Health Organization to take care of Covid-19 patients admitted at Light House Medical Centre in Aweil town.
Light House Medical Centre is the only public center designated by authorities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal and partners for the isolation of Covid-19 patients.
Some of the healthcare workers say the details of their contract remain unclear.
“Since that time up to now we do not know how much are we supposed to be earning,” Deng (not real name) told reporters in Aweil.
Before Samaritan Purse phased out in November last year, a clinical officer used to receive a monthly incentives of 389 dollars; nurse, 282 dollars; lab technician, 223 dollars; and a support staff, 50 dollars.
They say after the WHO took over the responsibility of the isolation center from Samaritan Purse three months ago, they are yet to receive their contracts.
“Nothing like proper agreement or talk between the health team and the Ministry of Health. Now our worry is are we working free. If it is for free, then they have to make it clear to us that we are working for free.”
Commenting on the matter, the Director General at the state ministry of health confirms the dire situation of the healthcare workers.
Dr. Aleu Pioth says his office has requested the Coronavirus Incident Manager in Juba to address their grievances.
“So we are just waiting for the feedback. After that feedback, and I think the money is here, we will give the directives just to be given to them,” Dr Pioth added.
Efforts to get a comment from WHO was not immediately successfully.
Currently, there is only one covid-19 patient receiving medical care at Light House Medical Centre in Aweil.