Public health workers intensify strike after ministry fails to meet deadline

By PHATIMAH SAIDYKHAN

The Association of the Public and Environmental Health Officers of the Gambia (APEHOG), has embarked on a sit-down strike again for unpaid allowances, after the Ministry of Health (MoH) failed to pay allowances to the workers on the promised deadline.

Talking to The Monitor, Nuha Fofana, President of the Association expressed disappointment at the Ministry of Health (MoH) for breaking its promises to pay their allowances at the end of May, 2022.

“The ministry of health failed us by promising to pay all our allowances at the end of May but failed to pay at the end,” said Nuha Fofana.

He said the allowances that were supposed to be paid were risk allowances, specialty allowances that includes the HND, BSc and masters. He added the uncalled allowances for desk officers and those working at the airport, seaports and also land crossing points to be paid their allowances.

According to him, a taskforce was set that meet with Permanent Secretary 2 of the Ministry of Health and the Director of Public Health Services, on the May 16, 2022. The Taskforce later met the Cabinet and discuss the matter at hand.

“We were told a supplementary appropriation bill will be drafted and sent to the National Assembly for approval,” said Touray, adding “until then w we are on strike while we wait for the approval from the Parliament.”

Mariama Bah, a woman who gave birth at the Banjulinding Health Center, said her child was not vaccinated for four days which she complained is not good for the child’s health. She urged the Ministry of Health (MoH) to help them to solve the problems as her child missed out on his first injections after birth.

It could be recalled that public health workers have embarked on a sit-down strike since the 6th April, but later suspended the industrial action to allow the government to fulfill its commitment to include them in the new allowance scheme.

The Association has launched the second phase of the strike after the Ministry of Health allegedly failed its promises to pay the allowances.

 

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